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What’s In a Name?

Posted on September 25, 2010 | in Dental Humor | by

To be or not to be…a doctor? Can you tell the difference between a doctor and a dentist?

Easy answer you say, well don’t speak too soon…and be careful of you’re headed across the Pond.

According to the British Dental Association, “Four-fifths of dentists think it is appropriate to continue to use the courtesy title of ‘Dr’.”

However, it seems dentists are only to use the title (“Doctor”) in contexts where it is clear they are dentists, not physicians. To shed a bit more light on the subject please feel free to fancy a visit over to the BDA website where you can view this explanation: (we know you’re dying to know!)

Dr Susie Sanderson, Chair of the BDA’s Executive Board, said:
“This issue has generated unprecedented levels of interest from contributors to the BDA’s online communities. Participants have sent a very strong signal about their wish to continue using the title Dr. We have listened to them and will convey the strength of that feeling to the GDC in our response to its consultation on this issue.

“It is clear from the contributions to this forum that, as long as it is made clear that the individual in question is a dentist, patients do not seem to be confused by the use of the title. The practice of referring to dentists in this way is long-established overseas and is also now firmly embedded in the UK.”

More semantics:


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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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