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Dentistry is the practical application of knowledge of dental science (the science of placement, arrangement, function of teeth ) to humanbeings. A dentist is a professional practitioner of dentistry. In most countries, to become a qualified dentist, one needsseveral years of training in a university (usually 4-8) and some practicalexperience working with actual patients' dentition .

In Australia , graduating dentists have either a B.D.S. (Bachelor of DentalSurgery) or B.D.Sc degree (Bachelor of Dental Science).

In the United Kingdom , there is 5 years of undergraduate studybefore obtaining a B.D.S. degree. After graduating most dentists will enter a V.T. (vocational training) scheme, of either 1 or 2years length, to receive their full NHS registration. In the UK a dentist must register withthe G.D.C. ( General Dental Council ), and meet their requirements as the governing body of theprofession, before being allowed to practice.

In the United States , dentists obtain either a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degreeafter 4 years of postgraduate education. (That is another 4 on top of the 4 years of an undergraduate college.)

Specialties in dentistry such as orthodontics (straightening of teeth),oral and maxillofacial surgery, pedodontics (treatment for children), periodontics (treatment of gum disease), prosthodontics (replacement of missing teeth by prostheses such as dentures, bridges and dental implants),operative dentistry (restoration of existing teeth), endodontics ( root canal therapy), dental public health (studyof dental epidemiology and social health policies), forensicodontology (gathering and use of dental evidence in law), oral radiology and oral pathology (study of oral and dentallyrelated diseases) would require usually between 2-3 years of further formal university training after dental school. Specialistsin these fields might be designated registrable (U.S. "Board Eligible") and can sometimes lay claim to exclusive titles such asorthodontist, oral surgeon, pedodontist, periodontist, prosthodontist upon satisfying certain local (U.S. "Board Certified")registry requirements.

Other dental "specialties" exists where no post-graduate formal university training is required : cosmetic dentistry , dental implant , temporal-mandibular joint therapy . These usually require the attendance of one or more"hotel courses" that typically last for one to several days. There is usually no restrictions on allowing these dentists to callthemselves specialists in these fields when the "specialist" titles are not restrictive and registrable titles controlled by thelocal dental licensing bodies.


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Dentistry in Canada

Canadian dentistry is overseen by the Canadian Dental Association . While specialization is overseen by the Royal College of Dentists . Today Canada has about 16,000dentists. Canadian dentistry is not publicly run (see Medicare(Canada) ); only children and the elderly can have free dental care. Other Canadians are mostly covered by workplace dentalplans, but many have to pay out of pocket.


For most of the early colonial period dentistry was a rare and unusual practice in Canada. In severe situations barbers orblacksmiths would pull a tooth, but for many years Canada lagged behind Europeanadvances. The first dentists in Canada were United Empire Loyalists who fled the American Revolution . The first recorded dentist in Canada was a Mr. Hume who advertised in a Halifax newspaper in 1814 .

During the first half of the 19th century dentistry expanded rapidly. In 1867 the OntarioDental Association was formed and in 1868 they founded Canada's first dental school in Toronto , the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario . Originally not considered a truescience the University of Toronto agreed to be affiliatedwith the dental school. As time passed other Canadian universities also created dentistry programmes.

Canadian dentistry schools

Dentistry in Hong Kong

The longest record for such ongoing and routine training and qualifying requirement for dental specialties in the world existsin Hong Kong where 6 years of pre-specialty, formal training and supervisedpractice are prescribed. It is uncertain if trainees there are more intellectually challenged than those in, say, North America, Australia or the UnitedKingdom where the specialty route would only take 2-3 years. It is accepted that only after 6 years of such training wouldthe trainees achieve an equivalent level of professional competence to that attained by their counterparts in the westernworld.

The patron saint of dentists is Saint Apollonia , martyred inAlexandria by having all her teeth violently extracted, not, one would have thought, such a very desirable exempla.

Here are some related topics in no particular order:

tooth -- Dental caries -- bruxism -- implants -- oral surgery -- temporomandibular joint disease -- toothbrush -- waterpik -- plaque remover -- laboratory technology -- ceramics -- occlusion -- fluoridation -- dentalbrace -- Novocain


External links

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