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Are dentists doctors? Wait, is this really a question? Unfortunately, yes. In a judgmental and insulting world that we have now, even the littlest things get scrutinised. How do you address your dentist? Do you call him or her Dr. Smith, or just a simple Ms. or Mr. Smith? Does it really matter? How did this issue even come about?


Are dentists doctors? : The norm

Most people I know address their dentists with the title Doctor. However, malicious issues arose with the help of TV shows and movies that backhandedly insult dentists as part of their comedic repertoire, like ‘The Hangover’ and ‘Roadies.’ People begin to think that dentists are using a title that they did not earn and are not entitled to use.


Are dentists doctors? : A dentist’s educational background

All licensed dentists finished either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. These two degrees are similar, and the universities where one dentist studied have the choice on what name they would call their curriculum and degree they offer. From this standpoint, dentists may have coined the title doctor because of the degree they have finished.



Are dentists doctors? : What ADA says

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dentists are doctors who specialise in oral health. Dentists, like medical doctors, also have to undergo certain specialisations to be able to perform advanced procedures in orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, paediatric dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and more.



Are dentists doctors? : What Australian regulations say

According to the Australian Dental Board calling their dentists doctors as well is not a big deal, as long as they are really dentists. In a document titled ‘Obligations of dental practitioners regarding the use of the title’ published in October 2012, the Dental Board states that only a board-certified dentist or specialist dentist can use the title ‘doctor.’ However, in advertising, a dentist or specialist who wants to use the title ‘doctor’ should clarify that he or she is no a medical doctor or practitioner so that they are not misconstrued as such. Other than that, there is no prohibition stated under the National law from the use of the title Doctor for dentists. This information allows dentists to be addressed as Doctor as a common honorary title.


Are dentists doctors: The conclusion

Title or no title, dentists are dentists. Call them Doctor this or Mr./Ms. that; the fact will still remain that they are capable of treating and maintaining our dental health. The title we give them doesn’t affect their willingness to treat us and to do their job as our dental partners. Let us have the decency to respect and honour their profession as we see fit.

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