What is Dentistry?
Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is focused on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases, disorders, and conditions It is also the study, practice, and science of research related to the mouth and any associated structures. Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions and is divided into two branches: dental surgery and dental public health.
Dental surgery focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases. It is the branch of dentistry dedicated to the repair and restoration of teeth, as well as the treatment of diseases and disorders of the teeth, gums, and jaw. Dental surgery may involve the use of surgical procedures to repair or replace teeth, or to treat infections or tumors in the mouth.
Dental public health is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention of oral disease and promotion of oral health. It is the arm of dentistry that is concerned with improving the oral health of communities through education and research. Dental public health focuses on identifying and addressing risk factors associated with oral disease, such as poverty, poor access to dental care, and lack of awareness of oral health issues.
Dentists are the healthcare professionals who provide oral health care services, including the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases. They work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as hygienists, radiologists, orthodontists, and periodontists, in order to provide comprehensive oral health care.
Five Examples of Dentistry
1. Dental Hygiene: Dental hygiene is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention and management of oral diseases. Dental hygienists provide preventive care, such as cleaning teeth and applying sealants, as well as providing instruction on proper oral hygiene and nutritional advice. Dental hygienists work closely with dentists and other healthcare professionals to ensure that patients receive comprehensive oral health care.
2. Cosmetic Dentistry: Cosmetic dentistry is the branch of dentistry focused on improving the appearance of patients’ teeth. It may involve the use of dentures, bridges, crowns, veneers, and implants to change the shape, size, color, and alignment of teeth. Cosmetic dentistry is often elective, meaning that it is not medically necessary, but is undertaken to improve aesthetics.
3. Orthodontics: Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and jaws. Orthodontists use braces, as well as other treatments, to correct misalignment and help patients achieve and maintain a healthy bite. Orthodontists also provide guidance on proper oral hygiene and nutrition for patients.
4. Endodontics: Endodontics is the branch of dentistry focused on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and infections of the roots and nerves of the teeth. Endodontists specialize in root canals, which involve the removal of the tooth’s pulp and root canal therapy, in order to save a damaged tooth from extraction.
5. Prosthodontics: Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of missing or damaged teeth and associated structures. Prosthodontists specialize in the fabrication of fixed or removable prosthetic devices, such as full and partial dentures, bridges, and crowns, to replace missing or damaged teeth.