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A dentist performing oral surgery.
Dentistry is the art and science of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions, diseases, and disorders of the oral cavity, the maxillofacial region, and their associated structures as they relate to human beings. Dentists, also known as 'dental surgeons', are health care practitioners that specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and conditions of the oral cavity. The dentist's supporting team aids in providing oral health services, for example, by utilizing radiography and other equipment to ensure correct diagnosis and treatment planning. Treatment may include filling dental cavities, removing the nerves of teeth during root canal treatment, treating diseases of the gingiva, removing teeth during extractions, and replacing lost teeth with bridges, dentures, and implants. Anesthesia is often used in any treatment that might cause pain. Teeth may be filled with gold, silver, amalgam, or porcelain. There are numerous soft tissue diseases of the mouth that are treated in dentistry. The most common pathologies are periodontitis, trauma, aphthous ulcers, herpes simplex virus and fibromas.

Disease prevention is an important aspect of dentistry. Regular oral hygiene is recommended, using the most common instruments including toothbrushes and dental floss. Limiting the frequency of sugar consumption is usually stressed. The dental significance of fluorides was discovered in the 1930s. Since then water fluoridation and topical applications of fluoride have become valuable tools in the prevention of tooth decay. Please see our medical disclaimer for cautions about Wikipedia's limitations.

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A maxillary right central incisor.
The maxillary central incisor is a human tooth in the front upper jaw, or maxilla, and is usually the most visible of all teeth in the mouth. It is located mesial to the maxillary lateral incisor. As with all incisors, their function is for shearing or cutting food during mastication (chewing). There are no cusps on the teeth. Instead, the surface area of the tooth used in eating is called an incisal ridge or incisal edge. Formation of these teeth begin at 14 weeks in utero for the deciduous (baby) set and 3–4 months of age for the permanent set.

There are some minor differences between the deciduous maxillary central incisor and that of the permanent maxillary central incisor. The deciduous tooth appears in the mouth at 10 months of age and is replaced by the permanent tooth around 7–8 years of age. The permanent tooth is larger and is longer than it is wide. The maxillary central incisors contact each other at the midline of the face. The mandibular central incisors are the only other type of teeth to do so. The position of these teeth may determine the existence of an open bite or diastema. As with all teeth, variations of size, shape, and color exist among people. Systemic disease, such as syphilis, may affect the appearance of teeth.

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Credit: dozenist

A mucocele is a swelling of connective tissue consisting of collected mucin from a ruptured salivary gland duct. The cause is usually trauma. It most commonly appears on the lower lip but can also be found on the inner cheek, tongue, and floor of the mouth.

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Fields of practice Instruments Oral hygiene Pathology
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Restorative dentistry Teeth Tooth anatomy Tooth development
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