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
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
, 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.