Oral hygiene and tooth care has evolved with the modern age. Dental Sciences are the headings under which your dentist is trained at, including Human Biology, Material Sciences, Pharmacology, Pathology, Surgery, Medicine and Specialized Dental sciences like Oral radiology, Maxillofacial surgery, Oral Pathology, Pediatric Dentistry and Prosthodontics extensively.
A Dentist is a highly skilled professional with perquisite knowledge of human body and its working with biocompatible materials within the limits of good health.To have a better understanding on ‘Dentistry’, you ll have to go through a brief history of evolution of dentistry.
Understanding Dentistry and Various Professionals working within the fraternity will help you avoid malpractitioners and quacks within dentistry.
Dentistry has been discovered to have existed in all major civilizations like Egyptian civilization and Mesopotamian civilization . The first professional European Dentists were known as barber surgeons.[who majorly dealt with Bleeding, Cupping, Leeching and extracting the teeth.
Exclusive profession of dentistry emerged only in the early 18th century. It has evolved rapidly in the last century, from following non-scientific methods such as bleeding and leeching to an extensive sophistication with the use of lasers in dentistry, advanced stem cell tooth regeneration therapy and the use of advanced prosthetics such as dental implants, followed after a prolonged clinical research and human trials.
Pierre Fauchard is the father of Modern Dentistry. He practiced removing decay and restoring teeth, treating periodontal diseases[gum problems] and performed orthodontic surgery and tooth replacement. His scientific, comprehensive approach was commended by fellow medical professionals an laid the ground work for the future of dentistry. Ever since, scientists made many breakthrough discoveries in dental care, developed superior bio-compatible dental materials, In early 1800’s , dental technology quickly advanced.
In around 1850’s dentistry was practiced by 4 groups of people,
1.Physicians who performed emergency dental treatments.
2.Medical school grads who took some training and limited their practice to dentistry.
3.Apprentices to dentists.
4.Dubiously trained Quacks.
Later, Serious professionals address the issue of quackery by establishing “Act Respecting Dentistry” 1867. And this Act allowed to streamline dentistry and granted full powers for licensing and regulating dentistry by an elected board of directors of the newly established ” Royal College Of Dental Surgeons of Ontario”. This college provided he basis for designing a syllabus needed to practice dentistry. Through out the 20th century , Dentistry continued to expand rapidly with increasing number of graduates in various fields of dentistry- Oral Radiology ,Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral pathology, Pediatric dentistry and Prosthodontics. Royal College Of Dental surgeons of Canada was created to promote high standards of specialization . It also included various auxiliary workers, including dental hygienists and dental lab technicians. Dentistry has been referred to as a lifestyle service and is experiencing advancements in technology and training.
Today, Dentists are trained in numerous fields like, Anatomy , Physiology,Biochemistry, general and oral pathology, Pharmacology, general and oral medicine,forensic dentistry, dental materials and their fabricating principles. With the advent of technology, Lasers , bone grafts , implants and facial reconstruction has been a part of modern dentistry.
I conclude by saying , “As much as dentistry has evolved with technology over decades of scientific research, the professionalism is being diluted with unethical practices and quackery”. So , know your dentist before getting treated.