dentist, health, medicine

Introduction to Dentistry

Introduction to Dentistry

Dr.Suhail Latoo

Dept. Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology

Govt. Dental College & hospital, Srinagar

Dr.Altaf H Malik

Dept. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Govt. Dental College & hospital, Srinagar

Dr.Ravinder Kumar Bhagat

Dept. Conservative dentistry and Endodontics

Govt. Dental College & hospital, Srinagar

Dr. Khalid Amin

Dept. Conservative dentistry and Endodontics

Govt. Dental College & hospital, Srinagar

Introduction
Dentistry, which is a part of stomatology, is the branch of medicine that is involved in the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, and surgical or non-surgical treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body.[1,2] Dentistry is widely considered necessary for complete overall health. Those who practice dentistry are known as dentists. The dentist’s supporting team aides in providing oral health services, which includes dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, and dental therapists.

Dental Surgery and Treatments
Dentistry usually encompasses very important practices related to the oral cavity. Oral diseases are major public health problems due to their high incidence and prevalence across the globe with the disadvantaged affected more than other socio-economic groups.[3]

Although modern day dental practice centres around prevention, many treatments or interventions are still needed. The majority of dental treatments are carried out to prevent or treat the two most common oral diseases which are dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease or pyorrhea). Common treatments involve the restoration of teeth as a treatment for dental caries (fillings), extraction or surgical removal of teeth which cannot be restored, scaling of teeth to treat periodontal problems and endodontic root canal treatment to treat abscessed teeth.

All dentists train for around 4 or 5 years at University and qualify as a ‘dental surgeon’. By nature of their general training they can carry out the majority of dental treatments such as restorative (fillings, crowns, bridges), prosthetic (dentures), endodontic (root canal) therapy,periodontal (gum) therapy, and exodontia (extraction of teeth), as well as performing examinations, radiographs (x-rays) and diagnosis. Dentists can also prescribe certain medications such as antibiotics, fluorides, and sedatives but they are not able to prescribe the full range that physicians can.

Dentists need to take additional qualifications or training to carry out more complex treatments such as sedation, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and implants. Whilst the majority of oral diseases are unique and self limiting, some can indicate poor general health,tumours,blood dyscrasias and abnormalities including genetic problems.

Prevention
Dentists also encourage prevention of dental caries through proper hygiene (tooth brushing and flossing), fluoride, and tooth polishing. Dental sealants are plastic materials applied to one or more teeth, for the intended purpose of preventing dental caries (cavities) or other forms of tooth decay. Recognized but less conventional preventive agents include xylitol, which is bacteriostatic,[4] casein derivatives,[5] and proprietary products such as Cavistat BasicMints.[6]

Education and licensing
The first dental school, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, opened in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in 1840. Philadelphia Dental College was founded in 1863 and is the second in …