The Influence Of Religion On Dentistry

The Influence Of Religion On Dentistry
The Influence Of Religion On Dentistry

Already in the third-century d. C., the Mayans made incisions to embed semi-precious stones in their mouths. It is believed that these practices denoted social rank and that with them the gods were worshiped.

Several centuries later, in the middle of the Middle Ages, religion once again occupied a central place in the mentality of a good part of Mediterranean societies, which is why many people considered that medical practices went against the word of God. The little dentistry that was practiced was practiced by some friars clandestinely in the monasteries, but the ecclesiastical authorities ended up prohibiting these practices, and healers, barbers, and charlatans took over. The latter went from town to town offering their dental services in the middle of the street and without asepsis. Extractions thus became a form of public entertainment, just like executions. 

The Dental Advances Of The Renaissance

The arrival of the Renaissance in the 15th century meant the rediscovery and assimilation of Greco-Roman culture, based on the free contemplation of nature. This cultural movement replaced medieval ethnocentrism with anthropocentrism, thus freeing science from theology and superstition. 

During this period, numerous works were published that were key to the evolution of dentistry, by the Flemish anatomist and physician Andreas Vesalius or “Libellus de Dentibus”, by the Italian anatomist and physician Bartolomeo Eustachio. The latter was the first book devoted exclusively to the anatomy of the oral cavity.

The Origin Of Modern Dentistry

However, the first to provide a complete scientific description of dentistry was Pierre Fauchard, recognized as the ‘father of modern dentistry ‘. His book, “Le chirurgien dentiste” (1728) explains the basic oral anatomy and functions, as well as the signs and symptoms of oral pathology and the recommended treatments to treat it. The French doctor was also a pioneer in the area of ​​prosthodontics, devising ways to replace lost parts.

A century later, Horace H. Hayden and Chapin A. Harris founded the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, after their project to create a dental school in several American universities failed as a result of resistance from the medical faculty. Harris organized, besides, the American Society of Dental Surgeons and in 1856 was named president of the society that replaced it; the American Dental Convention, predecessor, along with other organizations, of the American Dental Association.

How To Become A Dentist

  • To gain admission to a dental school in the US, you will need to take the DAT exam, which is administered by the American Dental Association and consists of 280 questions lasting 5 hours. The average grade for this exam is 19 out of 30. You should take about a year and a half before starting your studies at dental school. In most cases, it is usually taken in the spring or summer of the junior year of undergraduate studies. 
  • On the exam, you will find many questions related to the natural sciences, as well as reading comprehension and quantitative reasoning.
  • It is important to score high on this exam because dental schools in the US are very competitive. For example, hundreds of applicants apply to some of the best schools in the country, but only 100 to 200 of them are admitted.
  • Pass the National Board Dental Examination written exam if you live in the US Once you have completed your degree at an accredited institution, you will need to meet the licensing requirements. In most places, you will need to take certain tests after you have earned your degree. Usually one of them is a written exam that tests your basic knowledge of the field.
  • Pass clinical exams. If you live in the US, the place or state where you live will grant you a license to practice as a dentist. These tests will differ depending on the state, but they are clinical and require you to treat patients. If you intend to practice in the state where your dental school is located, it will often be the one who will conduct the exam either annually or semi-annually.

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