Dental Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well – being and not merely the absence of Disease or infirmity.
Dentist is one who is skilled in and licensed to practice the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, injuries, and malformations of the teeth, jaws, and mouth and who makes and inserts false teeth.
Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, dating back to 7000 B.C.
There is literature about treating of the decayed teeth in the ancient Greece by Hippocrates and Aristotle
First book regarding dentistry- The little medicinal book for all kinds of infirmities of teeth was published in 1530
In the early 1700 dentistry had become a more defined profession
Pierre Fauchard- French surgeon is recognized as Father of modern dentistry had published a book “The surgeon dentist a Treatise on Teeth” he also introduced the use of prosthesis and filling of decayed teeth
1840- First dental college (Baltimore College of dental surgery) was opened
Dental health workers consists of dentist and dental auxiliaries (dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, as well as dental therapists) who carry out necessary treatment.
Dental Assistant
The Dental Assistant aids the Dentist in providing care for the patient.
Duties of the Dental Assistant vary with the dental practice and may include:
Preparing the patients for dental treatment,
Taking x-rays,
Assisting the Dentist chairside,
Simple cleaning of teeth in small children,
Clerical and receptionist duties, such as making appointments for patients, filing charts, etc.
Dental Hygienist
The Dental Hygienist is primarily concerned with prevention of dental problems through education.
The Hygienist’s duties include:
Examining and charting the condition of mouth and teeth
Taking x-rays of teeth
Cleaning teeth
Applying materials to teeth to prevent cavities
Teaching adults and children how to take care of teeth and the importance of eating healthy food
Dental Therapist
Dental therapists follow treatment prescribed by a supervisor dentist who visits the therapist regularly. The dentist examines patients and writes treatment plans which outline the specific work procedures to be completed after the dentist has gone.
This work includes:
Giving local anaesthetics;
Preparing teeth for and placing routine fillings in teeth;
Performing uncomplicated extractions of deciduous (baby) and permanent teeth;
Scaling (cleaning) teeth;
Taking and developing x-rays;
Conducting preventive dental health programs which may include methods like -supervised brushing, -topical fluoride application, -classroom teaching.
The primary concern of the Dentist is to help people keep healthy teeth. They do this through treating problems of the teeth and mouth, and emphasizing prevention of dental problems. A healthy mouth and teeth are essential factors in achieving good general health.
There involves different specialization such as
1. Oral medicine and radiologist
Oral Medicine is the discipline and a branch sof dentistry which is mainly concerned with the oral health care of patients along with medically complex patients which also includes the management and diagnosis of medical conditions that affect the oral and maxillofacial region.
2. Oral and maxillofacial surgery
It is the specialty of dentistry that includes inpatient and outpatient care, the management of diseases of the teeth and their supporting soft and hard tissues (dentoalveolar surgery), surgical reconstruction of inadequate bone structure of the jaws, evaluation and planning of treatment and placement of dental implants, treatment of head and neck traumatic injuries to the face, jaws, mouth and teeth, diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disease, diagnosis and multidisciplinary treatment oral cancer and other diseases in the maxillofacial region, reconstructive and corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic and craniofacial surgery) to improve the function and appearance of patients with such conditions as cleft lip and palate and other congenital skeletal defects, diagnosis and surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, microneurosurgical repair of facial and trigeminal nerve disorders, and facial aesthetic surgery procedures to enhance facial appearance and function.
3. Conservative Dentistry And Endodontics
Treatment of teeth if any trauma involving the pulp (inner core) and surrounding root area by performing root canal surgery. Endodontists also can treat cracked tooth restorations and address the problems associated with knocked out (avulsed) teeth.
4. Prosthodontics, Crown & Bridge and Oral Implantology,
Also known as prosthetic dentistry or dental prosthetics is the area of dentistry pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, aesthetics and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing teeth, deficient teeth and/or compromised maxilla-facial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.
5. Orthodontics And Dentofacial Orthopaedics
Is concerned with facial growth and the development of the dentition & occlusion and prevention & correction of occlusal anomalies.
6. Pedodontics And Preventive Dentistry
The Department is dedicated to the comprehensive dental treatment of children upto to the age of 14 years. It focus mainly on all treatment aspects for children ranging from prophylaxis, preventive, restorative modalities along with fabricating habit breaking and functional appliances, stainless steel crowns, space maintainers and differently abled children’s rehabilitation of dentition under General Anesthesia.
7. Periodontics And Oral Implantology
Deals with the study of the health and diseases of the investing and supporting structures of the natural teeth and dental implants, oral mucous membrane, and the prevention and the treatment of their diseases. Over the last few years implant dentistry has become a basic part of periodontology.
8. Public Health Dentistry
Dental Public Health (DPH) is part of dentistry providing expertise and leadership in population-based dentistry, oral health surveillance, policy development, community-based disease prevention and health promotion, and the maintenance of the dental safety net.
Procedures in dentistry
During a dental examination dentist will use instruments, tests, radiographs and clinical expertise to diagnose potential or existent disease states and pathologies following which the procedures will be carried out accordingly.
Some of the procedures done are listed here
Dental Fillings: Dental fillings are used to repair damage to the structure of a tooth or teeth caused as a result of tooth decay, trauma or wear. Teeth can be filled with a variety of materials which include gold, amalgam, mercury, porcelain and composite resin.
Bonding: It is a process of using composite resins to “glue” materials to the surface of tooth for restorative purpose.
Root Canals: Root canal therapy removes infected pulp tissue within the root chamber of the tooth, this procedure is carried out when the tissue or ‘pulp’ within a tooth becomes infected.
Dental Crowns: These are artificial teeth or ‘caps’ which can be fitted over broken or damaged teeth. These will maintain their structure and protect them from further damage.
Dental Bridges: This is a structure which contains an artificial tooth or ‘pontic’ which is anchored to a adjacent couple of crowns. These crowns fit over the natural teeth on either side of a gap and they help to secure the false tooth in place and ensure a natural looking appearance.
Dentures: these are basically a set of false teeth.
Dental cleaning: It is a process involving scaling and polishing oe an advice on brushing and flossing.
Periodontal Treatment: Involves Later-stage gum disease treatment may include deep- scaling, curettage, root planning, periodontal surgery and laser surgery.
Oral and Maxillofacial Procedures: Involves procedures for the mouth, face and jaw, includes dental implants and treatment for temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).
Laser Procedures: Laser dentistry can replace the need to drill teeth or to use other, more invasive and painful dental equipment. Lasers can be used to remove dental caries and can also be used for bonding procedure, enhance tooth whitening, replace scaling, perform periodontal surgery, and treat some forms of sleep apnea.
Dental veneer: A dental veneer is a shell, or layer of tooth-colored porcelain or composite that is placed over the facial surfaces of your teeth to correct uneven tooth alignment or worn teeth enamel, discoloration or spacing, or chips or cracks of teeth.
Gingival sculpting, is a process which is also known as gingival contouring, in which reshaping ofthe gum tissue around your teeth is done.
Cosmetic dental treatment to remake your smile which helps in improving your new smile along with your oral health, gingival sculpting involves a minimally invasive laser procedure to remove and re-sculpt uneven or excessive gum tissue.
Componeers: Componeer is an emerging esthetic solution for the treatment of congenitally malformed teeth ,discolored,or fractured teeth which once required full coverage restorations. The componeers combine the superior esthetic of ceramic veneers, and the bondability to tooth structure is such as direct composite veneers.
Resin Bonded Bridges: A resin-bonded bridge consists of a cast metal framework with minimum preparation which is cemented with resin composite to an abutment/s which has minimal preparation/s confined either entirely or almost entirely to enamel conserving teeth structure.
Removable Partial Dentures: Are components of prosthodontics which pertains to the maintenance and restoration of oral functions, appearance, health of patient and comfort which is done by replacement of the missing teeth and in few cases where the bridge cannot be placed in such cases removable is used.
Removable Complete Dentures: replacement involving the entire dentition and associated structures of the maxilla and mandible.
Tooth Based Over-Dentures: Any removable dental prosthesis that covers and rests on one or more remaining natural teeth, the roots of natural teeth.
Implant-Based Prosthesis: Implant based dentistry it deals with replacement of missing teeth to normal contour, comfort, function, esthetics, speech and health.
Implant Retained Over-Dentures: Is a type of overdenture that is supported by and attached to implants. This is used when a person doesn't have any teeth in the jaw, but has enough bone in the jaw to support implants.


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