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Dentists also encourage prevention of oral diseases through proper hygiene and regular, twice yearly, checkups for professional cleaning and evaluation.Oral infections and inflammations may affect overall health and conditions in the oral cavity may be indicative of systemic diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, celiac disease or cancer.Dentists usually complete between five and eight years of post-secondary education before practising.Though not mandatory, many dentists choose to complete an internship or residency focusing on specific aspects of dental care after they have received their dental degree.A sagittal cross-section of a molar tooth; 1: crown, 2: root, 3: enamel, 4: dentin and dentin tubules, 5: pulp chamber, 6: blood vessels and nerve, 7: periodontal ligament, 8: apex and periapical region, 9: alveolar bone The first dental college, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, opened in Baltimore, Maryland, US in 1840.The second in the United States was the Philadelphia College of Dental Surgery, established in 1852.Many studies have also shown that gum disease is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and preterm birth.The concept that oral health can affect systemic health and disease is referred to as "oral-systemic health".
Dental treatments are carried out by a dental team, which often consists of a dentist and dental auxiliaries (dental assistants, dental hygienists, dental technicians, as well as dental therapists).
By nature of their general training they can carry out the majority of dental treatments such as restorative (fillings, crowns, bridges), prosthetic (dentures), endodontic (root canal) therapy, periodontal (gum) therapy, and extraction of teeth, as well as performing examinations, radiographs (x-rays) and diagnosis.
Dentists can also prescribe medications such as antibiotics, sedatives, and any other drugs used in patient management.
Most dentists either work in private practices (primary care), dental hospitals or (secondary care) institutions (prisons, armed forces bases, etc.).
The history of dentistry is almost as ancient as the history of humanity and civilization with the earliest evidence dating from 7000 BC.
Common treatments involve the restoration of teeth, extraction or surgical removal of teeth, scaling and root planing and endodontic root canal treatment.