People mocking dentists for their profession is exasperating. Why would they even dare to mock someone who’s helping other people with their medical issues. Your oral health is no less important than the health of the rest of your body.
There’s this culture in the medical industry for mocking dentists for their education and their work. They just kept pointing out that dentists don’t actually saves lives or help other people’s illnesses. But are they right? Should we actually belittle a profession that started 800 centuries ago?
"I was relaxing on the plane during a recent transatlantic flight; deeply focused on my book when I heard, “is there a doctor on board”? As no one responded, my wife, Tania, sitting across from me, gave me the look and told me to go help out. So I walked to the back of plane where a passenger was lying in the aisle, apparently fainting after standing up too fast en route to the washroom. I told the flight attendant I was an oral surgeon and offered my assistance. After a quick assessment and a few suggestions, it became apparent that the passenger was OK and just needed a cold cloth and a few minutes to gather his bearings, just as it has happened in the office on more than one occasion. It was just at this point that I had “The Hangover” movie moment, a second crusty flight attendant made her way back to the commotion and tapped the other stewardess on the shoulder and said “is this guy a doctor”, which garnered an over the shoulder response of, “No, he’s just an oral surgeon”. Thus, I was dismissed.
As I walked back to my seat, I had to laugh to myself as I felt like Stu (played beautifully by Ed Helms) when he asked to see his pal’s chart, Phil (played by Bradley Cooper) so they could retrace their steps at the hospital from the chaos of the previous night
Stu: “Do you mind if I take a look, I’m actually a doctor.”
Doctor: “Yeah you said that several times last night but really, you’re just a dentist.”
One of the other quotes from the movie was when the boys were checking into their hotel in Las Vegas and the clerk is confirming Stu’s reservation.
Phil: “Doctor Price? Stu, you’re a dentist. Don’t try and get fancy.”
Stu: “It’s not fancy if it’s true.”
Phil: “He’s a dentist, don’t get too excited. And if someone has a heart attack you should still call 911.”
Poor Stu, the dentist, was sadly getting mocked throughout the movie.
When I hear someone say “He’s not a real doctor he’s only a dentist” or speak words to that effect, I think that most of the time these words are spoken in jest. The speaker is being facetious and goading the dentist to show his/her insecurity and adopt a defensive posture. However in this age of enlightenment, only an unintelligent individual can seriously believe that dentists are not real doctors.”
Quoted from Bruce R. Pynn, MSc, DDS, FRCD in his feature article “You’re Only a Dentist” posted June 1, 2010 in (https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/features/you-re-only-a-dentist/)
Just as Dr Pynn’s article says, it is only the uninformed or unintelligent individual that can come up with comments like these. Belittling someone who is actually taking care of you (unless you don’t go to a dentist) is not one of the things you should be proud of in life.
It is time to celebrate the underappreciated dentists/oral surgeons of the medical world. It’s time to educate people. Dentists are doctors too. They go to school for four years after they get their bachelor’s degree to become a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry). Becoming an oral surgeon take even longer - four years of undergrad work, four years of dental school AND four to six years in a hospital-based surgical residency program.
Doing so, I appreciate them for who they are and for what they stand for. Let’s not take them for granted as they are the one’s who are your champions when it comes to your oral health. Remember that next time you have a cavity, need a root canal or have a tumor in your jaw.