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This schooling is followed by four years of dental school to qualify as a "Doctor of Dental Surgery" (DDS) or "Doctor of Dental Medicine" (DMD).
Dentists need to complete additional qualifications or continuing education to carry out more complex treatments such as sedation, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and dental implants.
Dentists also encourage prevention of oral diseases through proper hygiene and regular, twice yearly, checkups for professional cleaning and evaluation.
Oral infections and inflammations may affect overall health and conditions in the oral cavity may be indicative of systemic diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, celiac disease or cancer.
This is equivalent to the Bachelor of Dental Surgery/Baccalaureus Dentalis Chirurgiae (BDS, BDent, BCh D, BDSc) that is awarded in the UK and British Commonwealth countries.
In most western countries, to become a qualified dentist one must usually complete at least four years of postgraduate study; within the European Union the education has to be at least five years.
According to the World Health Organization, oral diseases are major public health problems due to their high incidence and prevalence across the globe, with the disadvantaged affected more than other socio-economic groups.
Dentists can also prescribe medications such as antibiotics, sedatives, and any other drugs used in patient management.Irreversible enamel defects caused by an untreated celiac disease.They may be the only clue to its diagnosis, even in absence of gastrointestinal symptoms, but are often confused with fluorosis, tetracycline discoloration, or other causes.Many studies have also shown that gum disease is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and preterm birth.The concept that oral health can affect systemic health and disease is referred to as "oral-systemic health".
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Dentistry is often also understood to subsume the now largely defunct medical specialty of stomatology (the study of the mouth and its disorders and diseases) for which reason the two terms are used interchangeably in certain regions.