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Dentistry – is a branch of clinical medicine which studies teeth, mouth, jaws and maxillofacial area and/or the adjacent and associated structures. Dentistry can be general, operative and orthopedic. There is also children’s dentistry .General practitioners of dentistry prevent, evaluate, diagnose and treat various teeth diseases (caries, pulpitis), parodontitis, mouth mucous coat diseases. The tasks of the operative dentistry include dental extraction as well as oraland maxillofacial surgery connected to inflammatory surgery, innate or acquired defects of the face or jaws, benign or malignant tumors. Orthopedic dentistry studies and deals with deformities, abnormalities and defects of teeth and jaws using orthopedic and orthodontic methods. Children’s dentistry appeared in the XX century with the development of treatment of dental diseases with regard to the peculiarities of a particular age.

Dentistry. History.

The first descriptions of mouth diseases were found in the works of such ancient doctors as Sushurta (India), Hippocrates (Greece), Galen, Celsus (Rome) and others. In the XIV-th century a French doctor Guy de Chauliac developed a tool for extracting teeth. At the end of the XV-th century an Italian practitioner G. D’Arcoli described teeth fillings made of golden, lead and tin foil. At the end of the XVII-th century dentistry became a separate branch of practical medicine and a French surgeon Pierre Fauchard is credited as being the Father of Modern Dentistry because his book was the first to describe a comprehensive system for the practice of dentistry including basic oral anatomy and function, operative and restorative techniques, and denture construction. In 1728 he issued "The Surgeon Dentist", where he summarized the knowledge on dentistry accumulated by that time. In the XIX-th century the teeth filling technique as well as the methods of making dental prosthesis were developed. In 1820 special drills were applied for treatment caries cavities and in the second half of the XIX century an American dentist James B. Morrison patented the first commercially manufactured foot-treadle dental engine. Later at the beginning of the 1900 the advance in physiology, biochemistry and pathology resulted in development of etiology, pathogenesis and therapy of the main dental diseases.

Dentistry in Russia.

The first information about dentists in Russia dates back to the beginning of the XVIII-th century. In 1810 a special law fixed the title “dental doctor” as well as the list of requirements for obtaining this title. In 1829 women received a right to practice dentistry. In 1881 the first school for “studying dentistry art” was established in Saint Petersburg. Before 1917 there were about 20 dental schools, and trainings for dentists as well as their practice were their private initiative. In 1883 "The First Association of Dentists in Russia" and “The Association of Dentists and Doctors Practicing Stomatology” were founded. Later (in 1891) similar associations were established in Moscow, Kiev, Kharkov, Tbilisi. In 1882 J.V. James-Levi issued the first specialized course book on dentistry called “Dentistry Guidelines”. M.M Chemodanov and A.K. Limberg et al. made a significant contribution in the development of dentistry in the XX century.

After 1917 Healthcare Ministry of the RSFSR established a dentistry division supervised by G.G. Dauge. In Medical Schools appeared chairs of dentistry and follow-up courses. In 1921 State University of Dentistry was founded in Moscow and in 1927 a counterpart university appeared in Leningrad. By 1975 there were 2 dentistry institutes and 33 according departments in Medical Schools of the SU. Apart from dentistry technicians with a college education, there were about 100.000 dentists with a higher medical education.

Medical check-ups of children, pregnant women, employees performing hazardous work and other people play an important role in treatment and prevention of dental diseases. Works of À. À. Limberg, À.I.Yevdokimova, I. G. Lukomsky, I. A. Begelman, V. Yu. Kurlyandsky, V. F. Rudko and others were also an important contribution in the development of dentistry. In 1956 “The National Association of Dentists of the Soviet Union” was established. Later, in 1968, it joined the International Dental Association (established in 1919). The leading scientific institution in this area is Central Research and Development Dental Institute (established in Moscow in 1962).

Today dentistry is arapidly developing branch of medicine using the latest technologies.

Sources: Natural Sciences,, BSE.

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