Dentistry

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Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and 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] Dentistry is widely considered necessary for complete overall health. Those who practice dentistry are known as dentists. The dentist's supporting team aids in providing oral health services, which includes dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, and dental therapists.

Contents

Overview

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.[2]

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.

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