Dentistry is the medical specialty dedicated to the study of teeth, gums and other anatomical structures that form the mouth, including mucous membranes, tongue or lips.
These elements allow for other essential physiological functions such as eating, chewing, swallowing, speaking, pronouncing and kissing. In addition, they affect facial expressions that are exclusive to human beings, perhaps the most special of which is the smile.
The World Health Organisation recognises oral health as a basic human necessity for achieving adequate nutrition, as well as its direct impact on social wellbeing via the development of social skills and relationships.
Oral health and annual check-ups
Oral health in Spain has improved significantly in recent years. The general public is gaining awareness on the relationship between oral health and other health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis or neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, it is widely accepted that a beautiful smile improves people’s self-esteem and their inter-personal relationships.
Nevertheless, although the benefits of oral health are widely recognised, over half of the Spanish population does not undergo the recommended annual dental check-up.
Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws, and misaligned bite patterns. Its main objective is to achieve the correct function of the mouth, which correlates with facial aesthetics.
A dental implant (also known as dental fixture) is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown. Dental implants have revolutionised dentistry by supporting prosthetics (false teeth), where not so long ago patients would have had to make do with removable dentures
Periodontology is the specialty of dentistry that studies supporting structures of teeth, most notably the gums. It is estimated that 85% of Spain’s population suffers from periodontal problems, yet few people know that such health issues can be treated or prevented.
Pediatric dentistry is the specialised branch that deals with children from birth through adolescence. It addresses health issues that are uniquely exclusive to children’s mouths, such as baby teeth, or jawbone growth development. Despite the importance of annual check-ups and early detection of oral health issues, 46% of parents take their children to the dentist only AFTER they detect a problem.