Dentists aren’t Doctors. Here’s Why…

I’m almost positive that you’re going to learn something today. I was flipping through The Atlantic’s website when I came across this article from March 2017. It’s an interview with Mary Otto, the author of “Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health In America” and she has a lot of really good information to share.

For example, do you know why dentists aren’t doctors? I do. And so does Mary. She also makes some really good points, like why is it that dentists aren’t treated as medical specialists? I mean, you’d not go to some guy in an unaffiliated office where your records couldn’t or wouldn’t be shared if your liver was going sideways. You’d go to a hepatologist. Your mouth influences the rest of your body as much as your liver does. I’m pretty sure we’ve blogged about that before.

Something that most people won’t tell you is that the first dental college in the US was started by two self-taught dentists, back in an age when you could teach yourself dentistry and no one would call the police. They initially wanted to open a department at the University of Maryland in Baltimore back in the 1840s. When the physicians ran them out on a rail, they threw their hands up and said, “Fine, then. We’ll start our own dental school!”

And so they did.

Back in the day, dentistry was considered surgery (performed by your barber)

Which is why I’m not a medical doctor with a specialty, I’m a dentist.

Back then, they considered dentistry something more like surgery, though that also falls under “doctoring” in the strictest sense. Teeth, they figured, were more mechanical in nature than organic, so here we are, a few dozen years later and entrenched in our separate zones by generations. Will dentistry and medicine every marry? They should, and for more than one reason.

Patients are suffering in a million different ways because of a gap between dental care and medical care. One quick little nip and tuck and it could all be over. I learned a few things from this article and I think you will, too. Check it out and let me know what you think!


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