What is dentistry?
Dentistry is known as the area of medicine and science that is responsible for the analysis and evaluation of teeth . Similarly, it focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that occur in the oral cavity, especially in the teeth and gums. However, some dental specialties also work on the jaws and temporomandibular joints . The objective and function of dentistry is based on the care to maintain oral health in correct condition.
Now, it is necessary to mention that the professionals who carry out dental work are called dentists or dentists. Sometimes these, depending on the treatment to be applied, require the help of specialized assistants. Dental assistants are divided into three occupations, the first is called a dental hygienist, the next is called a dental technician. The last assistant is called a dental therapist, as he deals with traumas and injuries that completely destroy the structure of the teeth.
On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that dentistry has been a necessary health practice for many years. The Egyptians had the idea that oral diseases were associated with spirits that inhabited the body. For their part, the Aztecs dealt with these diseases with herbs and natural foods such as hot peppers. The Incas tried to eliminate cavities with fire and cauterization, they lit a toothpick and placed it in the wound. Later, in the Middle Ages, dental work was used by barbers until the branch was created as a health area.
Branches of dentistry
Dentistry is divided into several branches and specializations. Among the dental branches are the following:
- General or Comprehensive Dentistry: As its name indicates, the comprehensive dentist is responsible for evaluating and analyzing the patient’s oral situation, from an overview. It has the ability to manage and treat certain diseases of the teeth and mouth, if it is out of its reach, it refers the patient to a specialist.
- Pediatric Dentistry: Its task focuses on the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of infants. This specialist has the knowledge and ability to interact and deal with children. Applies preventive and corrective treatment.
- Forensic Dentistry: This type of dentistry is the one that handles dental pieces from cadavers. Its function is to recognize, clarify and confirm the identity of the individual. Generally, the work of forensic dentistry is used to obtain evidence if it is required in a lawsuit.
- Legal dentistry: This branch focuses solely on matters associated with the law, it determines the role of the dentist in the interaction with the patient and vice versa. Similarly, it establishes duties and rights in the dental area.
On the other hand, those who study dentistry can specialize in the following areas:
- Periodontology or periodontology: This type of specialist is exclusively responsible for treating diseases associated with the tissue on which the teeth are located. Diagnosis and applies the treatment required to ensure the health of the gums.
- Endodontics: It focuses specifically on diseases that affect and deteriorate the inside of the tooth, that is, the pulp. Usually, if there is no other option, they treat the problem through a root canal. In this, the pulp is extracted and replaced by another material.
- Orthodontics: Orthodontics is applied to patients with poorly positioned teeth. The orthodontist determines and evaluates errors in the bite and position of the teeth to later correct them. The common treatment of this type of problem is the incorporation of dental orthodontics or braces.
- Restorative dentistry: The objective of this specialty, as its name indicates, focuses on the restoration and rehabilitation of teeth. The specialist has the task of evaluating and analyzing possible fractures and deterioration of the dental piece or pieces. In addition, he is the one who indicates whether or not the realization of a prosthesis is necessary.
- Dental technician: He is in charge of the design and elaboration of prostheses for the treatment and restoration of the teeth. It is guided and guided by the dentist or dentist, it follows their indications according to the approach or need to be solved.
- Dental Hygienist: His work is based on the application of simple treatments, associated with dental cleaning and hygiene . The dental technician has the ability to perform routine cleanings, fluoride application, and closure or sealing of fissures in the teeth.
- Dental Therapist: This dental assistant is responsible for treating and restoring irreversible damage caused by dental diseases such as cavities. In general, it is who applies fillings and who assists in conducting root canals.
Examples of diseases treated by dentists
- Cavities are the main dental conditions, it is generated by accumulated plaque and solidifies on the teeth.
- Gingivitis causes inflammation and irritation of the gums.
- Dental trauma
- Periodontal diseases, consists of the deterioration of the tissue and sometimes even the bone that supports the teeth.