Is a Dentist a Doctor? 10 Facts, Explanation

Dentists are skilled specialists that aid in the care of the mouth and teeth. Regular visits to the dentist can help you maintain a high level of dental health, which may have a direct effect on your general health. 

Is a Dentist a Doctor?

Yes. Dentists possess doctoral degrees and are so referred to as “doctors.” Now, is a dentist a physician? Most of the time, no. However, certain dental specialists, such as oral surgeons, complete such rigorous and long study that they are considered “dentist physicians” and have both a DDS and an MD after their name.

Is a Dentist a Doctor?

Unlike those with a PhD who are also referred to as “doctor,” dentists have medical training and licensing. However, is your regular family dentist a physician? Dentists are not physicians of the entire body, but they are doctors of the mouth.

In actuality, your primary care physician is not equipped to treat your mouth; they refer you to a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry.)

What Exactly Is a Dentist?

Are dentists oral physicians? Yes! Regarding the complete body? No. They are educated physicians who treat disorders of the teeth, gums, bone, and oral tissues, as well as provide treatment services to avoid the aforementioned conditions.

A dentist may do fillings, put crowns, replace missing teeth, modify bone development patterns, execute bone and gum grafts, remove teeth, and fit prosthesis such as dentures.

Dentists are educated to test for and diagnose oral, head, and neck illnesses. Depending on the dentist you see, he or she may even palpate all lymph nodes in your neck and scalp. Remember that your body and mouth are related!

Is a Dentist a Doctor?

Is a dentist a medical doctor? No. However, they can continue to treat and conduct oral surgery, give drugs, and provide anesthesia/sedation. You would not want a general practitioner to undertake a soft tissue graft and implant placement, just as you would not want them to perform the surgical procedures of a podiatrist (foot) or ophthalmologist (eyes).

What does a dentist do?

Dentists are oral health specialists. Typically, dentists get a pre-dentistry or pre-medical degree in college before enrolling in dental school.

Prior to certification, dentists must undergo rigorous training in their field, as is required of all physicians. Approximately 80 percent of dentists do general dentistry.

Certified dentists can diagnose and treat problems of the mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue. They can also clean your teeth, however dental hygienists often do this service.

Dentists provide the following care:

conduct and interpret dental X-rays

fill cavities

extract teeth

repair cracked teeth

promote oral health and oral hygiene

fill and bond teeth

treat gum disease, such as gingivitis

prescribe treatment, including prescription drugs, for oral health conditions

whiten teeth

install crowns or veneers

oversee the development of children’s teeth

perform oral surgery

Is a Dentist a Doctor?

Getting Into Dental School

In the United States, there are about 150 medical schools (not to mention roughly 30 DO programs) but only about 65 approved dentistry institutions.

According to Medical School Insiders, the average prospective physician may submit applications to as many as 20 institutions, but only approximately 40 percent will be accepted. However, around fifty percent of candidates are accepted into dental school, making it almost as tough.

The dental school admittance rate is significantly lower than that of pharmacy, nurse practitioner, and law schools. Prior to enrolling in dental school, dentists must complete a rigorous curriculum in biology, chemistry, and mathematics such as physics.

Comparable undergraduate degrees or courses are held by many applicants to medical school. In reality, it is fairly unusual for individuals to apply to both, especially given that dentistry offers a far more desirable work-life balance.

How Long is Dental School?

Once in dental school, dental students endure two years of intense study in biomedical sciences followed by two years of clinical dentistry (making it a 4-year degree in addition to their undergraduate degree, for a total of 7-8+ years of schooling).

Dentists can also seek postgraduate specialization by completing three-year residencies to become specialists in a variety of dental fields (oral surgery, periodontics, orthodontics, etc.) In essence, if you’re visiting a dental expert, they may have spent up to 11 years in school after graduating from high school (the equivalent of repeating grades 1 through 12).

Type of Degree

After completing their formal studies, dentists do earn a medical degree. In truth, a dentist is a doctor who has acquired either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and specializes in oral health.

Is a Dentist a Doctor?

DMD and DDS are essentially equivalent; the particular title provided depends on where the degree was earned. Therefore, a dentist theoretically has the title of “doctor” based only on their degree.


There are two primary categories of general dentists: Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) (DMD). Similar to how there may be two distinct sorts of family physicians (MD-Medical Doctor and DO-Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.)

DMDs and DDSs are able to give the same complete degree of dental treatment as DMDs and DOs are able to provide for medicine. Both possess degrees and licenses that are identical in every way.

According to the ADA, both categories of dentists function as doctors of oral health and provide the following services:

Diagnosis of disease

Treatment planning

Oral health promotion

Monitoring oral development

Surgical procedures

Emergency care

What’s the difference between DMD and DDS? Nothing beyond the sort of degree they received from the dental school they attended. There is no difference in training or curriculum. There is no meaningful distinction between the two, as they are identical.

Dentists are Real Doctors

In addition to four years of postgraduate study in oral health, dentists get extensive education in pharmacology, pathology, and the oral-systemic health link. Due to the fact that many diseases first manifest as oral symptoms, dentists might be your first line of defense in diagnosing and treating them.

And we’re not only discussing oral cancer. Numerous underlying health concerns might damage the soft tissues in your mouth, which is why it is essential to disclose your complete medical history with the dentist.

Dentists are regarded as oral physicians. Antibiotics, painkillers, steroid, and muscle relaxant prescriptions are available. During your scheduled operations, they can also prescribe sedatives in their office. Some of them give Botox as well.

When a dentist treats or restores a tooth, they are undertaking surgery. In certain cases, even the voids within the bone are addressed when altering and repairing rigid bodily components. You wouldn’t want someone with less than a PhD degree to do that to your mouth! Also, you would not want to receive a prescription from them.

The Best Doctor for Your Mouth

Are dentists doctors? Yes. However, is a dentist regarded as a medical doctor? No. However, you would not visit your family doctor for an abscessed tooth, cyst in the jaw, impacted wisdom tooth, or any other dental condition.

Is a Dentist a Doctor?

Your doctor would refer you back to a dentist for the degree of treatment you require to maintain your health. Unfortunately, the medical world (and health insurance, for that matter) has established a clear distinction between the mouth and the body.

The good news is that more professionals are recognizing the life-saving benefits of the oral-systemic relationship and how a qualified dentist may dramatically improve your long-term health.


Doctors and dentists are both doctors but they are very different. Most people know that doctors deal with human health and that dentists deal with teeth. However, there is much more to it than that.

There are many areas in which doctors are experts that dentists are not. One example would be in orthopedics. While a doctor is trained to deal with broken bones and the like, a dentist is not. A dentist will take X-rays and make sure that a patient is healthy before doing any procedures.

While a lot of people may think that a dentist is just a dental technician, that is not the case at all. Doctors have more training than technicians. Dentists are educated

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Pat Moriarty
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