Writing within the field of dentistry is really quite minimal compared to other professions, but it is essential to success within this field. Competent writing skills are crucial to thrive in dentistry. There are three major forms of writing done in the dentistry. Most people in the dental field will have done these types of writing, and it is vital to be able to write proficiently, fluently, and lucidly. The first type of writing is done within schools, the second type is the basic day to day writing done within the practice, and the third type of writing is research.
Whether it is in undergrad, dental school, or hygiene school, writing will be a large component in education. According to UC Merced University of California (2016), undergraduate programs for dentistry students are typically required to have one year of English composition (N. P). In dental hygiene programs, according to Minnesota State Mankato (2014) only one semester of English composition is required (N. P. ). Most dental hygiene programs have the same criteria in regards to what students must take in the English department as Minnesota State University, Mankato requires.
The university is representative of most dental hygiene programs. Minnesota State University, Mankato describes what types of writing is done in a typical English 101 course, English 101 is a process writing course; students practice strategies for exploring ideas and develop their revision processes through peer response, instructor feedback, and guided analysis of their own writing. Critical reading, research, and reflection are important components of the course. Class discussion and writing assignments help students read for comprehension, genre understanding, and rhetorical inspiration/critique.
A broad range of writing skills are polished within the English course. In the English class writing essays is the main part of the class, which prepares dental hygiene majors for the everyday writing in the field. In addition to English, students are required to also have a semester of communication studies which involves writing informative speeches. As students go through schooling, they must also prepare for the National Board Dental Examination. In the field of dentistry, if students want to get a PH.
D students must pass a National Board Dental Examination in order to get admitted in to dental school and to graduate from dental school. It is an exteremly lengthy test that requires a lot of note taking, which is another form of writing that students will have to do. These two tests are extremely important and require a lot of writing. Extensive notes must be taken in order to pass this test. Organization and efficiency are key when taking notes for this exam. The next most common type of writing that is done within the field of dentistry is the basic daily on the job writing.
The most important writing a dentist, hygienist, or assistant does is dental records. Charangowda explains in, Dental records: An overview, what dental records are and how important they are to keep. “Dental records consist of documents related to the history of present illness, clinical examination, diagnosis, treatment done, and the prognosis” (Charangowda, 2010). Dentists and hygienists need to be able to document everything that they do, whether it is formal or not. The documentation also must be very thorough and easy to understand so that anyone is able to look back at it and make sense of it.
This is the main form of writing that is done within dentistry. It is very important for the documentation of records to be very clear and comprehensible. Writing patient records is a fundamental skill for dentists, hygienists, and assistants to be prosperous. The writing within these records should be concise and clear in order to deliver the best possible care for patients. In addition to keeping patient records, writing emails is also a big part of the career. Emails sent out are very formal.
Some examples that a dentist may send out to his staff may be centered on ethics and etiquette, or they may just be about a meeting. Letters are used as well. They may be a letter of thanks for a referral letter, a referral letter for consultation, or other miscellaneous letters. Other types of daily writing may include postal cards, memos, and miscellaneous records. Receptionists also take notes daily to keep track of patient’s visits and upcoming visits. They also take notes on what procedures a patient has had and what they will need in the future. The third type of writing in the dental field is research.
Many dental students, dentists and even hygienists are very active in dental research. Through research people in the dental field try to improve oral health. Research helps discover new forms of care and it also helps improve upon techniques that are currently being used within the field. The American Dental Association is a very big supporter of research as this quote shows. “The American Dental Association puts a large emphasis on research in the dental field as it is critical to stay up to date on the latest and best care for patients”(American Dental Association, 2015).
The American Dental Associations realizes the need for research as it improves the experience for the patients. In a profession focused mainly on oral restoration and prevention, writing is truly a huge component. Writing is an essential job skill in dentistry. Not only does writing equip dental professionals with communication and thinking skills that they need to thrive but it also helps them become a better care taker. From the schooling, to daily work, and even research, it is important to have polished writing skills. These are just a few of the types of writing that are done in the field of dentistry.