It is defined as the branch of medicine concerned with the study, analysis, prevention and treatment of infection, injuries and defects of the oral cavity, oral mucosa and adjoining and connected structures and tissues mainly in the jaws and face area.
The field of dentistry is mainly misunderstood by the majority of people to be linked to teeth but also involves study of constitution, growth and tooth abnormalities.
In the recent a lot of weight has been put in understanding and upholding good oral health. This is because one’s life quality is to a greater extent influenced by their oral health as witnessed by deprived and special care patients.
An excellent oral care and access to it is absolutely related to higher quality of life. Dentistry is therefore important for everyone’s general health.
History of Dentistry
It dates back to the account of human race and evolution with some evidence dating back to 700BC. Some of the ancient dental surgical procedure witnessed in ancient Egypt where a mandible dated back to nearly 2650 BCE shows two perforations just beneath first molars root showing a draining of a painful tooth.
Other evidences trace to the early Harappa periods of the Indus Valley Civilization. It is believed to be the first specialty of medicine.
The treatment is mainly done to avert or treat two main oral diseases mainly dental carries and gum diseases also known as pyorrhoea.
The treatment usually involves reinstatement of teeth, taking away or removal through surgery of the affected teeth. It also involves to scaling and root plan and endodontic root canal cure.
Studying for Dentistry
One requires studying dentistry for the least period of three years in the undergraduate program and completes a bachelor’s degree. This is then followed by four year in a dental school so as to qualify as dental surgery doctor.
This requirement however varies from one country to the other. They are also required to undertake additional qualifications or studies so as to carry out more advanced treatments such as dental inserts, sedation and oral surgery.
By the nature of dentist’s profession, they can out dental management such as fillings, treating of the root canal and extraction of the affected teeth. Moreover, they also prescribe medications such as antibiotic and other drugs to control patient’s condition.
The main emphasis however is to encourage proper teeth hygiene through regular checkups, at least twice yearly for specialized cleaning and assessment to prevent oral diseases.
Licensing and Practicing as a Dentist
For one to practice as a dentist, he/she has to qualify and be registered by the dentistry board. Anyone who practices before acquiring such a license is liable for prosecution for illegal practice.
Profession Within Dentistry
There are quite a number of specialists within dentistry. These include;
- Endodontic – Study of dental pulp diseases
- Dental public health – Study of health policies pertinent to oral health
- Period ontology – Study and control of non-surgical and surgical as well as placement and maintenance of dental implants.
- Pediatric dentistry – Study of children dentistry.
- Prosthodontics – Reinstatement of implants.
- Orthodontics – The study of straightening of teeth
- Oral medicine
This is however not limited to the above list only. It is also worth noting that dentistry has evolved over the years from the ancient days of scholars like Hippocrates and Aristotle to the modern day dentistry profession, which involves a lot of study and experience for one to qualify.