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The Unchanging And Changing Dental Courses

By Expert Author: Karen McDonagh

What many people do not know is that the practice of dentistry goes beyond identifying a decayed tooth and fixing it. The variety of dental courses that one finds in a dental school’s curriculum may very well attest to the fact that dentistry is more complicated than what people think it to be. Furthermore, the continued expansion of knowledge in other fields of study contributes to push the information taught in dental courses even further.

The basic information or knowledge in the field of dentistry remains unchangeable. These basic dental courses include such subjects as Anatomy, Histology and even Biostatistics. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Anatomy as the study of the structure of living things. This, of course, includes the study of the human body and every part of it, such as the oral cavity. Histology is defined as that branch of Anatomy that deals with the minute structure of animal and plant tissues as discernable with the microscope. It is important to study the cells that make up the parts of the oral cavity in order to understand how each miniscule part contributes a function to the whole. Beyond the biological sciences, another unchangeable subject is Biostatistics, which is defined as the statistics applied to the analysis of biological data. It is from these analyses that conclusions of scientific studies or experiments may be drawn.

These unchanging subjects are part of the dental courses as basic foundations for understanding the oral cavity, which is the specialization of dental professionals. These topics teach what is normal concerning the oral cavity so that dental professionals may find or detect what is not normal and treat that particular thing to bring it back to or as close to that which was established as normal. It is in having the knowledge of the basics that a dental professional may decide whether treatment is necessary or not.

When the basic, unchanging foundation has been learned, it is then time to explore the subjects with possibility for continued changes. This would involve dental courses such as Dental Materials, Restorative Dentistry and even Oral Surgery. These subjects deal with the treatment of that in the oral cavity which was found to be not within normal – decayed teeth, missing teeth, painful gingiva, etc.

Dental Materials explores the different liquids and solids that are used in the practice of dentistry, such as the rubber materials for impression taking or the ceramic materials used for restoring cavities. Until about a decade ago, Amalgam was the favored and standard material chosen for restoring cavities. Today, there are studies claiming harmful effects of the components of Amalgam and that newer resin materials should be used instead.

Restorative Dentistry teaches the methods of replacing missing parts of a tooth or even a whole tooth through prosthodontics. Removing decayed parts of a tooth and preparing it to receive a restorative material used to focus on understanding the architecture of a space that could hold and retain such material. Bigger tooth reductions were favored to provide more space for the materials. Today, some claim that tooth preparations may be kept minimal and restorative materials will still be good.

Oral Surgery was primarily focused on the extraction of teeth that need to be removed from the oral cavity, such as badly decayed teeth, abscessed teeth or impacted teeth. Today, Oral Surgery also involves restoring the space left from an extracted tooth with a comparable replacement - implants.

The variety of dental courses proves that the practice of dentistry is more complicated than simply identifying a painful tooth and extracting it to get rid of the pain. It involves the study of unchanging subjects that provide a knowledge foundation and a security that the field of dentistry is quite important. It also involves the changing subjects that make the field of dentistry constantly open to new discoveries. The mix of these two types of dental courses simply makes dentistry quite interesting.

Karen McDonagh is a proud contributing author and write articles on several subjects including Online Dental Education. For more information please click and see Virtual Courses for Dental Students .

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