What is a Dentist Practitioner?

Everyone needs to visit a dentist frequently to keep their oral hygiene and have healthy teeth, or you might want to become a dentist.

Whichever is the case, you probably see different dentist terms. One of the most popular and perhaps the most frequently used terms about dentists is dentist practitioner.

Because of this, you probably wonder what a dentist practitioner is, what they do, and when you should see a dentist practitioner.

Answering these questions might be a little bit tricky because a dentist practitioner doesn’t specify one special thing.

It might mean more than one thing and doesn’t help in finding a solution to a specific problem.


What is a Dentist Practitioner?

What is a Dentist Practitioner

A dentist practitioner is either a generalist or a specialized dentist.

Dental practitioners include dental hygienists, general dentists, therapists, oral health therapists, prosthetists, and specialization areas such as orthodontics.

All in all, it is a general name for all dentists, no matter the specialization.

To become a dentist practitioner, you have to go through the same path every dentist goes. You study at a five-year dental school and get accredited after taking the necessary exams and finishing school.

After this, you can either stay as a generalist dentist practitioner or specialize to become a specialized practitioner. 

Read: What Is A Periodontist Dentist?

What Does a Dentist Practitioner Do?

What Does a Dentist Practitioner Do

Depending on whether they are a generalist or specialists, a dentist practitioner might offer different treatments.

Overall, they diagnose, treat, and maintain our dental health depending on our problem and what kind of treatment it needs.

This means that they can do simple stuff such as cavity filling, tooth extraction, and teeth cleaning, but also complicated surgeries.

If you go for a specialized dentist practitioner, they first examine the situation and come to a conclusion that fits the best to your situation.

This conclusion might include dental surgery or not, but their main aim is to fix your issue if it’s in their respective area. If it needs another specialized dentist, they might refer you to another specialization area.

Also Read: What Is A PPO Dentist?

What is The Difference Between Generalist Dentist and Dentist Practitioner?

What is The Difference Between Generalist Dentist and Dentist Practitioner

To put it lightly, all dentist practitioners are generalist dentists, but not all generalist dentists are dentist practitioners.

Dentist practitioners can either be generalist dentists or specialized dentists, depending on the trajectory of their education and career choices. 

However, a generalist dentist focuses on providing treatment and diagnosis as a generalist dentist and doesn’t provide any specialized treatment.

That’s why not every dentist can be seen as a dentist practitioner because a they can go both ways. Specialization a dentist practitioner can pursue includes:

  • Pedodontics
  • Orthodontics
  • Periodontics
  • Endodontics
  • Oral Pathology
  • Prosthodontics

The Verdict

To conclude, a dentist practitioner is a general name for all dentists, whether a generalist dentist or a specialized one.

A dentist practitioner goes through the same type of education every other dentist does with studying at a five-year dentistry school.

However, a DP can choose to pursue a specialization contrary to generalist dentists.




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