Dentistry Info Today

Dentistry has been practiced for centuries. It's the branch of medicine that diagnoses and treats problems of the teeth, mouth, gums, and jaw. The health of the mouth affects the overall health of the patient.

There is evidence of dentistry in its earliest forms being practiced as far back as 7000 BC. A text from 5000 BC suggests that a tooth worm was the cause of cavities. This belief persisted into the 1300's. Some Egyptian remains confirm the evidence of dental practices. Aristotle and Hippocrates also wrote about dentistry, treating decayed teeth and gums an extraction using forceps.

During the Middle Ages and into the 19th century dentistry was not a profession in itself and was often practiced by general practitioners and barbers. Barbers usually limited themselves to extractions. That's comforting. You could get a shave a haircut and have your tooth pulled.

The first textbook written in English was published in 1685 by Charles Allen. The father of modern dentistry is widely thought to be a French physician, Pierre Fouchard. Some of his developments include the use of dental prosthesis, fillings for cavities and the fact that sugar contributed to tooth decay.

The modern dentist treats a variety of problems and there are many specialties within the dental profession. Most commonly people go to the dentist for treatment of cavities and as a preventative measure. We get our teeth cleaned every six months, right. Well, I'm sure a lot of people try to. Dentists can prescribe medications, order x rays and devices to use at home or in the office.

Dentists today focus on prevention. It's well known that dental disease can affect other parts of the body. Bacteria from infected teeth and gums left untreated can travel to other organs, even the heart and cause major problems. Severe gum disease can lead to the loss of otherwise healthy teeth.

In order to practice dentistry, one needs a degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). Dental Education takes at least five years with most dentists completing five to eight years of post secondary education before practicing.

The dentist is not a favorite destination for many people, but with the introduction of modern pain medications and even sedation dentistry, it need not be uncomfortable. Now, get off of the computer and make an appointment for your six month check up.


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