Definition and History of Dentistry
- Dentistry focuses on the teeth, gums, and mouth.
- It involves the study, diagnosis, prevention, management, and treatment of oral diseases and conditions.
- Dentistry dates back to ancient times, with evidence of its practice dating back to 7000 BC.
- Dentistry is considered the first specialization in medicine.
- Dentistry has its own accredited degree and specializations.
- The world's first dental school was established in Ohio in 1828.
- Dental schools were subsequently established in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and London.
- Different dental schools may result in different clinical decisions for the same condition.
- Dentists in the United Kingdom are regulated by the General Dental Council.
- Dentists usually complete five to eight years of post-secondary education before practicing.

Dental Team and Treatment
- Dental treatments are carried out by a dental team.
- The team consists of a dentist and dental auxiliaries such as dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dental technicians.
- Dentistry aims to prevent and treat dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease).
- Common dental treatments include restoration of teeth, extraction, scaling and root planing, root canal treatment, and cosmetic dentistry.
- Dentists can also prescribe medications for patient management.

Oral Health and Systemic Health
- Oral diseases are major public health problems worldwide.
- Oral infections and inflammations can affect overall health.
- Conditions in the oral cavity may indicate systemic diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, celiac disease, or cancer.
- Gum disease is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and preterm birth.
- The concept of oral-systemic health highlights the connection between oral health and overall health.

- Cosmetic dentistry: Focuses on improving the appearance of the mouth, teeth, and smile.
- Anesthesiology: Deals with the advanced use of general anesthesia, sedation, and pain management for dental procedures.
- Dental public health: Studies epidemiology and social health policies relevant to oral health.
- Endodontics (endodontology): Involves root canal therapy and the study of diseases of the dental pulp and periapical tissues.
- Forensic odontology: Involves the gathering and use of dental evidence in law, primarily for documentation and verification of identity.
- Oral and maxillofacial pathology: Involves the study, diagnosis, and treatment of oral and maxillofacial related diseases.
- Oral and maxillofacial radiology: Involves the study and radiologic interpretation of oral and maxillofacial diseases.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgery (oral surgery): Includes extractions, implants, and surgery of the jaws, mouth, and face.
- Oral biology: Focuses on research in dental and craniofacial biology.
- Oral implantology: Involves the art and science of replacing extracted teeth with dental implants.
- Prosthodontics (prosthetic dentistry): Involves dentures, bridges, and the restoration of implants.
- Maxillofacial prosthetics: Specializes in rehabilitating patients with congenital facial and oral defects or defects from surgery or trauma.
- Periodontology (periodontics): Focuses on the study and treatment of diseases of the periodontium and placement and maintenance of dental implants.
- Special needs dentistry (special care dentistry): Provides dental care for those with developmental and acquired disabilities.
- Sports dentistry: Deals with the prevention and treatment of dental injuries and oral diseases associated with sports and exercise.
- Veterinary dentistry: Applies dentistry to the care of animals and is a specialty of veterinary medicine.

Terminology and Miscellaneous
- Dentistry comes from the French and Latin words for tooth.
- The scientific study of teeth is called odontology.
- Dentists are also referred to as dentists.
- The term dentistry is often used interchangeably with stomatology, the study of mouth disorders and diseases.
- Stone age man used dentist drill.
- Ancient dentistry involved curing tooth-related disorders with bow drills operated by skilled bead-crafters.
- The oldest known dental filling, made of beeswax, was discovered in Slovenia.
- Long term occupational noise exposure can cause hearing loss.
- Evidence-based dentistry emphasizes high-quality scientific evidence in decision-making.
- Dental students require competence-based clinical skills.
- Accreditation of dental schools can enhance quality and professionalism.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
dentistry (noun)
the art or profession of a - dentist
Dentistry (Wikipedia)

Dentistry, also known as dental medicine and oral medicine, is the branch of medicine focused on the teeth, gums, and mouth. It consists of the study, diagnosis, prevention, management, and treatment of diseases, disorders, and conditions of the mouth, most commonly focused on dentition (the development and arrangement of teeth) as well as the oral mucosa. Dentistry may also encompass other aspects of the craniofacial complex including the temporomandibular joint. The practitioner is called a dentist.

A dentist treats a patient with the help of a dental assistant.
  • Dentist
  • Dental Surgeon
  • Doctor

Occupation type
Activity sectors
Health care, Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Medicine, Pharmacology, Surgery
  • Sub-Millimeter Surgical Dexterity
  • Knowledge of human health, disease, pathology, and anatomy
  • Communication/Interpersonal Skills
  • Analytical Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Empathy/Professionalism
Education required
Dental Degree
Fields of
  • Private practices
  • Primary care clinics
  • Hospitals
Related jobs
An oral surgeon and dental assistant removing a wisdom tooth

The history of dentistry is almost as ancient as the history of humanity and civilization, with the earliest evidence dating from 7000 BC to 5500 BC. Dentistry is thought to have been the first specialization in medicine which has gone on to develop its own accredited degree with its own specializations. Dentistry is often also understood to subsume the now largely defunct medical specialty of stomatology (the study of the mouth and its disorders and diseases) for which reason the two terms are used interchangeably in certain regions. However, some specialties such as oral and maxillofacial surgery (facial reconstruction) may require both medical and dental degrees to accomplish. In European history, dentistry is considered to have stemmed from the trade of barber surgeons.

Dental treatments are carried out by a dental team, which often consists of a dentist and dental auxiliaries (dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, as well as dental therapists). Most dentists either work in private practices (primary care), dental hospitals, or (secondary care) institutions (prisons, armed forces bases, etc.).

The modern movement of evidence-based dentistry calls for the use of high-quality scientific research and evidence to guide decision-making such as in manual tooth conservation, use of fluoride water treatment and fluoride toothpaste, dealing with oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontitis, as well as systematic diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, celiac disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS which could also affect the oral cavity. Other practices relevant to evidence-based dentistry include radiology of the mouth to inspect teeth deformity or oral malaises, haematology (study of blood) to avoid bleeding complications during dental surgery, cardiology (due to various severe complications arising from dental surgery with patients with heart disease), etc.

Dentistry (Wiktionary)



From dentist +‎ -ry.



dentistry (usually uncountable, plural dentistries)

  1. (uncountable) The field of medicine concerned with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions of the teeth and oral cavity
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