How come dentists are not medical specialist?


            Why isn’t dentistry a medical specialty? Dental students could have essentially gone to medical school and then specialized in teeth (and oral medicine). Ophthalmologist specialize in eyes yet we don’t make them a whole new profession.  Teeth are an organ like any other organ. For example in the UK oral and maxillofacial surgery is a medical specialty but in the United States it is classified as a dental specialty. This distinction seems arbitrary to me.

           I am sure there is some historical reason that the professions never merged. Each one probably had its own culture and due to tradition and politics they just never felt the need to consolidate. Medicine is filled with arbitrary distinctions. The history and politics of medicine is fascinating. Medicine is a constant battle of different groups attempting to become recognized by the established medical culture. Look at the long hard fight that Osteopathic physicians had to endure in order to finally be recognized as equals. Maybe dentists didn’t care about that fight. They were content having their own culture. They wanted to keep their identity.

4 Replies to “How come dentists are not medical specialist?”

    1. Yeh ur correct bro. It is virtually the same applicant pool. I remember seeing some of the kids in the pre-med clubs switching to pre-dental club later in the year. Dentistry actually looks better then medicine in some respects. But most dental students are qualified to be MD’s if they really wanted and vice versa.

  1. I heard some dental schools were harder to get into than medical schools.

    To me seeing the dentist is just as important, losing your teeth and having nasty bacteria in your mouth is gross and I’ve seen first hand the damage it can have on your body

  2. Yeh Vanessa ur right. Some super selective dental schools are harder to get into than some medical schools. Being a dentist is just as important. I remember this one kid in my class switched from pre med to pre dental becuz a dentist saved his dads life. The dentist found a cancerous malignancy in his dads mouth that the doctors missed. That inspired him to become a dentist. He is in dental school now or he might be done.

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