Dentistry is a branch of medicine that involves the study, analysis, prevention, and treatment of illnesses, disorders, and conditions of the oral cavity, frequently in the dentition but also the oral mucosa, and of neighboring and related structures and tissues, predominantly in the maxillofacial (jaw and facial) area.
Here’s all that you need to know about dentistry, specialties of dentistry and dentist:
History of Dentistry:
Dentistry is a Prehistoric Practice: Indication of dentistry has been dated as far back as 7000 B.C. to a Bronze Age civilization in the Indus Valley, a region that is now made up of Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and Iran. By studying human remains from this era, scientists resolute that areas of tooth decay were deliberately removed using flint drill bits.
Greek Scholars and the Progression of Dentistry: Ancient Greek scholars, comprising Aristotle and Hippocrates, took an interest in dental health and established methods based on observations of oral problems. They performed tooth extractions with forceps and used wires to keep loose teeth in place.
The Birth of Contemporary Dentistry: Dental practices remained rather partial until the publication of French surgeon Pierre Fauchard’s The Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise on Teeth in 1728. Often credited as the “Father of Modern Dentistry,” Fauchard comprehensively told how to care for and treat the teeth in this revolutionary text. Some of his methods are still used today, such as cleaning the teeth, filling cavities, and using braces to correct alignment.
As dental techniques progress so did pain relief. By the mid-1840s, pain relief methods expanded to include the use of ether and nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” making dental treatment far more bearable.
Dentistry Today: Thanks to the improvements made throughout the history of dentistry, today’s patients are able to enjoy the benefits of state-of-the-art and effortless treatments. Up-to-date dental treatments consist of a wide range of procedures to improve oral health and enhance the appearance of the smile. Today’s patients can receive aesthetically pleasing tooth-colored fillings or enjoy restored dental function with dental implants for tooth loss. Modern pain relief approaches, including local anesthesia and sedation, ensure patients stay comfortable no matter the procedure or level of anxiety.
What are the Specialties & Sub-Specialties of Dentistry?
There are nine essential dental specialist types, including:
Endodontists discourse issues involving teeth’s dental pulp and nerves and the experts of this specialty often execute root canals.
Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology:
An oral radiologist looks under the surface. Relying on X-rays, these doctors bring about diseases, disorders, and damage to teeth and facial bones.
Dental Public Health:
Dentists who concentrate in public dental health are concerned with the optimistic dental well-being of a community rather than for singular patients. Their exertions emphasize on dental health education, community oral health programs and the overall deterrence of dental diseases on a larger scale.
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology:
Oral Pathologists concentration is on the cause behind oral disorders. This type of dental specialist is capable to perform biopsies for diagnoses.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery:
Oral surgeons conduct operations counting wisdom tooth removal, cleft pallet and lip repair, dental implants and facial reconstruction.
Concentrating on the alignment of the jaw and teeth, orthodontists use a variety of approaches to treat the bites of children and adults.
Usually getting an extra two years of education beyond dental school, pediatric dentists study in treating developing mouths.
Periodontal dentists focus on the well-being of the tissues that support and surrounding teeth, such as the gums. They work to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases or conditions that disturb these areas directly.
Dentists who study in prosthodontics are concerned with the function, health, and conservation of biocompatible dental substitutes such as dentures and veneers.
Who is a Dentist?
The diagnosis and treatment of problems related to teeth and gums in the mouth are one of the main responsibilities of a dentist. The dentist also gives advice and directs care to help avert the future dental problems. The other responsibilities of a dentist include removing tooth decays, filling up the cavities, examining X-rays, straightening the teeth and repairing fractured teeth, performing corrective surgery on gums and extracting the teeth. A dentist also makes models for dental crowns, bridges, dentures, and implants. Dentists also provide prescriptions for medicines and antibiotics and direct the anesthetics. Dentists provide comprehensive instructions and guidance about the oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, use of toothpaste etc).
Education and Training of a dentist:
The applicants should have to take the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) because it is the necessary requirement of all the dental schools. The schools select/shortlist the students on the basis of students’ scores in the DAT, grade point averages and information that is collected through interviews and recommendations.
There are 4 academic years in a dental school. At the start of the studies, the students learn laboratory work in science that further includes anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, and physiology. The staring courses are about clinical sciences and laboratory techniques. In the last 2 years, the students treat patients under the supervision of licensed dentists in the dental clinics. At the end of 4 academics years, the majority of the dental schools award the degree entitled as “Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)” while some schools award “Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD)” degreed (it is equivalent to DDS).
Licensure Requirements for Dentistry in the USA:
The dentists are licensed to practice any of the nine recognized specialties in all the 50 States and the District of Columbia. Requirements for licensing include 2 – 4 years of postgraduate education or the completion of a special State examination. In some cases, a postgraduate residency term also necessary that usually lasts up to 2 years. Most of the State licenses allow the dentists to participate in both the general and specific practice.
Who are dental hygienists, dental nurses, dental auxiliaries, dental assistants & dental technicians?
Dental Hygienist: A dental hygienist delivers preventive oral care under a dentist’s supervision. He or she clean patients’ teeth and inspects their mouths for signs of disease and damage. Hygienists teach them how to preserve good oral health.
Dental Nurse: A dental nurse works closely with the dentist, providing assistance throughout a patient’s visit. Supporting the dentist includes a wide range of procedures for preparing the various materials required and guaranteeing the proper instruments and equipment are available, to cleaning and disinfecting the used instruments.
Dental Auxiliary: A dental auxiliary is an individual who is given accountability to a dentist so that he or she can help the dentist to solidify dental care, but who is not himself qualified with a dental degree.
Dental Technician: Dental technicians, fabricating dental prosthetics including bridges, crowns, and dentures rendering to specifications dentists send to them. They work in areas that include orthodontic appliances, crowns, and bridges, complete dentures, partial dentures or ceramics.
List of Dental Associations across the USA:
- Academy for Sports Dentistry
- Academy of General Dentistry
- Academy of Operative Dentistry
- Academy of Interdisciplinary Dentofacial Therapy
- Academy of Laser Dentistry
- Academy of Osseointegration
- Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- American Academy of Dental Hygiene
- American Academy of Dental Practice Administration
- American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry
- American Academy of Facial Esthetics
- American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry
- American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics
- American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics
- American Academy of Orofacial Pain
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- American Academy of Periodontology
- American Academy of Restorative Dentistry
- American Academy for Oral Systemic Health
- American Association for Dental Research
- American Association of Endodontists
- American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- American Association of Oral Biologists
- American Association of Orthodontists
- American Association of Public Health Dentistry
- American Board of Forensic Odontology
- American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association
- American College of Dentists
- American College of Forensic Examiners
- American College of Prosthodontics
- American Dental Assistants Association
- American Dental Association
- American Dental Education Association
- American Dental Hygienists’ Association
- American Dental Society of Anesthesiology
- American Equilibration Society
- American Orthodontic Society
- American Society for Dental Aesthetics
- American Society of Dental Anesthesiologists
- American Society of Forensic Odontology
- American Society for Geriatric Dentistry
- American Student Dental Association
- Arizona State University Pre-Dental Organization
- Association of Managed Care Providers
- Charles Tweed Foundation
- Certified Dentists Internationale
- Committee on Dental Auxiliaries
- Dental Anthropology Association
- Dental Assisting National Board
- Federation of Special Care Dentistry Association
- American Veterinary Dental Society
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- United States Navy Dental Corps
- California Society of Pediatric Dentists
- California Society of Pediatric Dentists
- California Society of Periodontists
- Connecticut State Dental Association
- Florida Dental Association
- Kansas Dental Board
- New York State Dental Association
- New York State Dental Foundation
- Ohio Dental Association
- Texas State Board of Dental Examiners
- Christian Medical and Dental Association
- Psi Omega
- United States Navy Dental Corps
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