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Haeihn Lee
English 1A
Professor Mitchell-Wagner
April 28, 2015
Field of Dentistry Community
Discourse Community is a group of people involved in and communicating about a
specific topic, issue, or in a particular field. I want to focus on dentistry filed for my discourse
community analysis paper because my major is Dental Laboratory Technology. It also called
dental technician too. When I was in high school, I wanted to go to fashion school because I love
to draw and make something by hands. However when I got into college, I changed my mind. I
set up the goal for become a dental hygienist. Nonetheless when I searched about the dental
hygienist, I had chance to know about the dental laboratory technician. I started to consider about
become a dental technician because I could use my hand skills as dental technician and I could
more enjoy to work than dental hygienist. Before I decide to my major as a dental laboratory
technician, I did not have much knowledge about the dentistry field. When people asked me
about my major, people did not know exactly what dental technician is do and people thought the
dental technician same as dental hygienist or assistance. There are many different positions in
Dentistry field. For example, there are dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistances and oral
surgeon also dental technicians. Theses careers are just some in the world of dentistry
community. I will talk about how dentists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, dental assistance, dental
hygienist and dental technicians are different, what are they do, what is their salary, their nature
of their work and the education need to become one of these people.

Dentists are a physician whose practice is in the filed of dentistry. Dentists treat problems
for a patients teeth, gums, and related parts of the peoples mouth. Dentists are trying to help for
patients oral health and they provide advice and instruction to patients on how to taking care of
their teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health. A dentist performs many
important duties in the maintenance of oral health. Check-ups area major part of the job and are
important for patients keeping on top of their oral care. In addition to general check-ups, general
dentistry involves basic treatments that can be done at a regular dental done at a regular dental
office. Such procedures might include filling a tooth, performing a minor surgical procedure such
as a tooth extraction, and cleaning and polishing teeth. A dentists will encourage patients to
practice good dental care by brushing and flossing and getting regular cleanings as these good
habits can help prevent cavities and other tooth and gum diseases (Sokanu). Becoming a
Dentist, people need to be caring and compassionate as well as smart and knowledgeable also
they need detailed hands skills too. I think hands skills are really important for becoming a
dentist because they work directly in patient mouth. Academic requirements of dentists, they
have to complete four years university and people have to study to qualify as either a DDS
(Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). After complete the academic
requirement, they have to take clinical training at dental office. Dentists have to take clinical
training at least two years and than they qualify for taking certification exams. Dentists must be
licensed in all states in United States. In field of dentistry, there are specific specialties available.
If person who wants becomes one of the specific specialties, he or she have to take additional
training, creating ability in particular area. A specialty is an area of dentistry that has been
formally recognized by the American Dental Association as meeting the specified Requirements
for Recognition of Dental Specialties. The responsibilities of the different areas of specialization,

the requirements and other information can be found here in Dental Specialties. Currently there
are Nine Dental Specialties recognized by the ADA(American Dental Association). Here are the
types of dental specialties.
- The area which specializes in the treatment of the internet tissues or

pulp of the tooth which is mostly made up of nerves and blood

vessels; an Endodontist performs root canal treatments and other
procedures and examinations involving the inner tooth.
- Deals with the straightening and alignment of the teeth and jaw; an


Orthodontist will fit braces and treat for disorders involving

misaligned teeth; will also deal with issues involving bone in and
around the mouth area which may be related to other health issues.
-Refers to the area around the tooth, including the gums and other


tissues; a Periodontist will deal with gum disease and other gum
- The area relating to cosmetic dentistry and the appearance of teeth;


a Prosthodontist fits implants to replace remove teeth and deals with

other Prosthetics in the mouth.
-Specializes in treating childrens teeth; may work with other

Paediatric Dentist

specialists if specific areas are involved.

Dentists annual average salary is $164,570. However dentists salary is depending on their
education level, experiences, skills, size of company and location.

Dental hygienists and dental assistances are important community at dental office. Dental
hygienist and dental assistances have some similarity duties, but they are some difference
between dental hygienist and dental assistance. Dental hygienists and dental assistances, degree
that they need and salary are different. Dental hygienists are working under the licensed dentists.
Nonetheless Dental hygienists are not qualified to make the same kind of diagnostic decisions for
patients or do the same treatment procedures for patients as dentists but hygienists often see
patients on their own tasks. Instead, dental hygienist does basic dental care responsibilities for
patients; they have to collect information about the patients oral and medical health history, they
are making molds of patients teeth used for treatment, they have to check the chart of patients
conditions before see a dentist, they apply fluorides and decay preventatives for patients, they
remove sutures and dressing from patients mouth. Mostly dental hygienists focused on keep
cleaning calculus, stains and plaque from patients' teeth and gums. On the other hands, dental
assistants are working directly with dentists. When dentists during the treatment procedure for
patients, dental assistants are standing next to patients and they are assisting for dentists, also
they are always working closely with patients before, during and after procedures. Also they are
preparing and sterilizing instrument tools and equipment for dentist before dentists start
treatment procedure for patients. They are taking patients x-rays and they are taking impressions
of patients teeth for study casts. After taking impression, dental assistances have to prepare to
send patients impression to dental lab. Both dental hygienists and dental assistants are working
in close to their patients and dentists and they spend a lot of work time around other people,
including patients and other office staff. A person who wants to become a dental hygienist, she or
he has to attend program at 2 years collages or universities. Requirements for dental hygiene
program are people must have a high school diploma, there are also have prerequisite that people

must take courses at college before apply to dental hygiene program. Usually need to have
excelled in biology, chemistry, math and health courses during high school, according to the
American Dental Association, Some bachelor's degree programs in dental hygiene require
students to have two years of junior college before applying ( After finish the
program, they have to get a license to work legally as a dental hygienist in the United States,
from the state where he or she will work. If not, people cannot work as a dental hygienist. The
graduate must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, which is a comprehensive
written examination. Part of the test assesses the test-taker's knowledge of scientific principles
and facts relating to dental hygiene. Another part asks the future hygienist to assess case study
patients, based on charts and photographs, and select appropriate treatment for them. After
passing the national exam, the candidate usually must take a regional dental hygiene exam. This
exam typically involves a demonstration of clinical skill. The candidate removes tartar, plaque or
calculus from the teeth of an actual person. He or she also checks for pockets between teeth and
gums, which would indicate possible infection or inflammation ( License in most
states depends on graduating from a qualified degree program, passing a national exam for
license and passing a state or region-specific exam. According to the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics 2014-15, Dental hygienists average annual salary is $70,210. On the other
hand, dental assistances education requirements are little bit shorter and easier than dental
hygiene program, also there is no prerequisite courses for apply dental assistance program. It
takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental assistant. Dental assistants receive their
formal education through academic programs at community colleges, vocational schools,
technical institutes, universities or dental schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive
certificates. Although the majority of academic dental assisting programs take nine to eleven


months to complete, some schools offer accelerated training, part-time education programs or
training via distance education (ADA). Dental assistants are not requiring to getting a license.
Some states are requiring passing a licensing exam. But it depends on the each state. Dental
assistants are eligible to take the CDA examination if they have completed a dental assisting
program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Individuals who have been
trained on the job or have graduated from non-accredited programs are eligible to take the
national certification examination after they have completed two years of full-time work
experience as dental assistants. Some states also recognize passage of components of the CDA
examination, such as the Radiation Health and Safety examination, or the Infection Control
examination, for licensing and regulatory purposes. State regulations vary, and some states offer
registration or licensure in addition to this national certification program. (ADA). Dental
assistants annual salary is lower than dental hygienist. According to U.S Bureau of Labor
Statistics, dental assistants annual salary is $34,500.


Dental technicians are really important part in dentistry filed. Dental technicians are not
working directly with patient so they working at dental lab. Their duties are restorative patients
missing teeth or broken teeth. Full dentures for patients who are missing all of their teeth,
removable partial dentures or fixed bridges for patients who are missing only one or a few teeth,
crowns, which are caps for teeth that are designed to restore their original size and shape, veneers
that enhance the esthetics and function of the patient, orthodontic appliances and splints to help
straighten and protect teeth I had chance to know more information that I did not know about
the dental technician. Dental laboratory technology is combined the art and science of work
corrective devices and replacements for natural teeth. A dental lab technician works with the
dentist, who work the treatment and places the restoration or corrective device in the patient's
mouth. There are two types of dentistry that call for the skills of a dental lab
tech: Restorative (or prosthetic) dentistry is performed when patients lose teeth through an
accident or illness, and the teeth must be replaced to maintain normal functions.
Orthodontic treatment is provided when teeth must be moved or stabilized to improve function or
to prevent painful dysfunction. Dental technicians are more relate with an art than other jobs
that relate with dentistry filed, because each restoration need detail hand skills and they must

think about the function of the patient's natural teeth. The great challenges for the dental lab
technicians are to find and restore both the perfection and the imperfection of the patient's own
teeth, so her or his smile looks completely natural and beautiful. Dental lab technology is also
related with a science because technology continues to development really rapidly. Thus dental
technicians have to keep study for new materials. Technicians use a many different of instrument
tools, high-tech materials, such as ceramics, plastics, zirconia and metal alloys for fixed
restorations (crowns and bridges) and more. Dental technicians work with a variety of materials
including waxes, plastics, precious and non-precious alloys, stainless steel, a variety of
porcelains and composites or polymer glass combinations. Many technicians acquire skill in the
use of sophisticated instruments and equipment while performing laboratory procedures. It is
important for the technician to help create tooth replacements that are both attractive and
functional (ADA). Dental technicians also must have a fully understanding and knowledge on
the process of both the patients mouth and the dental materials. Best candidates for the dental
technicians have excellent eye-hand skill, need good color observation, good at control with
small instruments, an interest in dental materials, and the need patience to attend to each single
detail. The goal and challenge for dental technicians are to create a restoration that is a perfect
match to a patients natural teeth and function of teeth. For dental technicians need artistic and
creative abilities. By using several technologies, a dental technician improves patients quality
of life, appearance and health, not to mention creating beautiful teeth and wonderful smiles
(Nelson). Although a majority of the work provided by dental technicians is done independently,
they are valued members of the dental team. I found the lab slips, oven manuals, linek tooth
manual, PTC guide and phone that dental technician used for their jobs. Lab slips are method of
communication between doctors and dental technicians. Lap slips are really important thing to

dental technicians because it has information for patient and there was a note from doctors for
what they want it. If there was no lab slips, dental technician could not make the teeth for patient.
Manuals for each burn out machine are really important too. Every material needs different
temperature for burn out. So before put the oven, dental technician must check the read and
check the temperature. If not, the material will be melt or it will loss the function of the tooth. I
interviewed my friend. My friend name is Q and he had four years experienced as dental
technicians. He told me that, checking burn out oven temperature is really important (Sung).
When first year of work at dental lab, he did not check the burn out oven temperature and he just
put it. Result was really bad. All crowns were melting and he had to remake all crowns. Lenek
tooth manual has the detailed 40 picture each tooth. It has five sides for tooth. This book needs
for the dental technician, because when they make the teeth, they can refer to make teeth.

For the PTC guide has explained that how to use each instruments tools and how to make the
teeth. Also phone calls is really important method to communicate between dentists and dental

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technicians because if a dental technician feel complicate and have any consideration of notes
form the lab slips, dental technician must call and ask to doctor for what exactly they want for
the patient. Dental technicians are using dental anatomical words and teeth numbers for
communicate each other. Dental technicians have to using instrument tools for make teeth, thus
some of dental technicians felt pain their wrist and neck. Also if they have redo cases for patient,
they have to start and make restorations all over again. It made dental technicians really
depressed and stressful. Educations requirement for become a dental technician, people can be
receive their education and training for two years program at a community college, technical
college, university or dental school. Beyond the college, Newcomers need study for anatomical
words for teeth and they have to spend time on practice for making teeth. Studying and
practicing is the good way to success as dental technician. After graduate school or finished the
program, people can get an associate degree or a certification. Some people thought, go to
college is not necessary and just start and learn work at Dental lab. People could not see a gap
right away, but later, salary and positions will be different. There is available specialize in dental
laboratory technology. Dental laboratory technicians can become certified by passing an
examination that evaluates their technical skills and knowledge. The National Board administers
the examination for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology. A dental technician who
passes the certification examination becomes a Certified Dental Technician (CDT). CDTs
specialize in one or more of five areas: complete dentures, removable partial dentures, crown and
bridge, ceramics or orthodontics (ADA). According to statics, dental lab technicians average
annual salary is between $37,000 to $74,000. Dental lab technicians annual salary is depending
on dental technicians experiences and skills.

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Through this discourse community research paper, I could see many different types of
career are available in the filed of dentistry community. Each career education requirements,
duties, average annual salaries are different. Dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistances and
dental lab technicians can be enjoy their job and career opportunities. All of these dental
professionals work together to provide oral care and dental health maintenance services from
cleanings to more specialized procedures and surgeries(Santiago).

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"Dental Technician Salary." Pay Scale. Web.

"Dental Lab Tech Education and Training Requirements." American Dental Association. Web.
"What Is a Dentist?" What Does a Dentist Do? Sokanu. Web.
HYGIENIST?" AllalliedHeathSchool. Web. <>.
Registered Dental Hygienist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements Web
College. Web.
Santiago, Andrea. "Dentistry Careers - Job Options and Career Paths in Dentistry and Dental
Care." About Career. Web.

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