General dentistry deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases, injuries and malformations. It certainly has come a long way since 5000 B.C., when a Sumerian text attributed dental decay to “tooth worms.”
The profession also has come a long way with regard to its practitioners, according to the American Dental Association. Between 1130 and 1163 A.D., barbers began handling surgical duties such as extracting teeth.
According to the ADA, Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon, is credited as being the “Father of Modern Dentistry” because his book, Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise on Teeth, was the first to describe a complete system for practicing dentistry. This included basic oral anatomy and function, operative and restorative techniques and denture construction.
The 19th century ushered in the invention of the first reclining dental chair, a rubber base for placing false teeth and the world’s first dental school.
Today, the dental profession includes specialists in orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and cosmetic dentistry, to name a few.
Oral care is a booming industry with products to address myriad dental needs. From toothpastes and toothbrushes to rinses, sealants and fluoride treatments, dentists today have a varied arsenal of treatment options to offer patients the best in dental care.
By clicking on the tabs on the left of the screen, this general dentistry section will help you become more knowledgeable on a variety of dentistry-related topics.