Debunking the Five Most Common Myths about Dentists

Myth Number 1: Dentists are less educated than doctors.

This is not true, and is possibly the least accurate misconception about dentists. There are no two-year schools to become a dentist. While a two year school might qualify someone to work as a dental assistant, the truth is that American dentists have an eight-year education. They study for an additional four years after achieving their bachelor degree and earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine.

Myth Number 2: Dentists are expensive.

The truth is that many dentists are willing to examine mouths for free or at least a very low cost. These checkups only require a quick look and trained eyes have seen hundreds or thousands of mouths. More technology intensive examinations such as x-rays or ultrasound might ring up at the cash register. This pays for time, isotopes, and the inconvenience of having to drag out machinery.

Myth Number 3: A dentist can cure anything in one visit.

This is a positive myth that is actually false. Some dental offices are pressed for time and must schedule a filling. The more intensive the operation, the more difficult it is for the dentist to prepare a session. Some problems cannot be fixed with a drill bit. More advanced problems must be treated by an oral surgeon, which is a highly specialized service.

Myth Number 4: Dentists prefer root canals to make money.

The truth is that they take pride in their work and missing teeth reflects negatively on them as professionals. Dentists operate a business and pulling a tooth suggests a deficiency in expertise. They will do what the customer wants, but for the dentist it can feel like a personal defeat. This stereotype is also not true for all dentists. Some pull teeth routinely and almost with gusto.

Myth Number 5: Going to the dentist at all is a waste of money.

Some people claim they are old fashioned and simply avoid going for checkups or to have cavities filled. They say they can avoid cavities by brushing daily or by not eating fine flour foods. Some people leave cavities in their molars because the tooth itself is robust enough they never feel it.

While it is true that a single missing tooth will not impede chewing and a molar can withstand a cavity, leaving cavities unfilled has important risks. Bacteria can spread to other teeth and deep infections can get into the gum and even the bone. Some cavities lead to deep infections and a lethal condition called blood poisoning. Simple answer, a cavity could lead to mouth surgery. It is better to see a dentist.

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