The Real Reasons Why Doctors and Dentists Are Separate
A question often asked is; “Why are doctors and dentists separate?” For the most part, the answer is simple. Dentists are trained to treat the dental health of patients and to instruct their patients on proper dental hygiene and oral care practices. Therefore, it would make much more sense for a dentist to provide care to a person that they personally treat with tooth whitening procedures or other types of cosmetic dental procedures. Conversely, a doctor only provides care to patients with diseases or disorders that require a more extensive level of medical attention.
Unlike chiropractors, who practice dentistry in a purely informal manner and refer their patients to other qualified and licensed practitioners, dentists are formally trained and are expected to adhere to a specific code of ethics and perform their duties with compassion and professionalism. Often times, this means that they have a duty to inform patients of the risks associated with certain dental procedures. In some instances, they may be required by law to tell patients of the likely complications that can arise from specific dental treatments. Some states have actually enacted laws that mandate the dentist to inform patients of the likely consequences of non-medical treatments. This is considered to be a form of ethical medicine, as well as a wise business decision.
In addition to having a duty to warn patients of their own qualifications, doctors and dentists often work together to provide patients with preventative care. Preventative care encompasses such things as teeth cleanings, checkups, and regular cleanings. In fact, many people think of dentists and doctors as one and the same thing. In truth, however, a dentist’s main role is to diagnose and treat patients, while a physician can specialize in virtually any field or focus on just a few.
On an organizational level, doctors and dentists are often trained separately. They are usually under the watchful eye of a supervising physician. However, some practices choose to train both doctors and dentists together to eliminate any potential confusion for patients. Still, other dental practices operate as separate entities, with the head office being located elsewhere.
Why are doctors and dentists separate? The answer is complicated. On one hand, there are legal battles over which practitioners are allowed to provide particular procedures. On the other hand, medical schools sometimes push students toward specializing in one particular field before they are allowed to become doctors. As a result, doctors and dentists who become affiliated with the same dental school have to stay away from each other when the need arises.
The practical reason why doctors and dentists are separated is purely business. Dental practices have to pay considerably more money per patient in order to hire a physician. Since they are paying much more for a physician to work solely with them, they are less likely to want to let go of his practice and allow a new physician to take his practice over. The second reason why doctors and dentists are separated is simply that they spend more time working together. When two physicians or dentists get together on a case, they spend significantly less time than they would if they were to work individually.
The third reason why doctors and dentists are separated is simply that they don’t work very closely together. A doctor works with a patient once, then spends the rest of his life working with that same patient. A dentist works with a patient a couple times, then works with them a single time. This means that a dentist will rarely see the same patient twice. Because of this, many dentists and physicians prefer to work individually.
Although most people don’t think twice about it, the main reason why doctors and dentists are separate is simply because they chose to separate their practices. They didn’t like having to be in the same room as each other all day. They also didn’t like living and working together side by side in a medical practice. Now that they have decided to make their practices separate, they have both gained new patients and expanded their business.