Experts have a hard time determining when dentistry came to be versus when civilization and humanity started. There is evidence from the dating from Harappan periods of the Indus Valley Civilization around 7000 BC that remains had teeth that had been drilled. Perhaps this was some form of dental surgery, a specialized medicine.

By the time Tulsa was settled in what was originally Indian Territory in the 1830’s. The Trail of Tears brought 5 civilized tribes from as far away as Florida and they would come with their own medicine man and rituals for healing the ill. This most likely included dental work, although we haven’t been able to find such evidence for this piece.

Today, we all know that dentistry is within the medical industry with a focus on the teeth. It is the study, the diagnosis, the prevention, and the treatment of oral matters such as cavities, diseases, and disorders. It is also the oral mucosa that is adjacent to and related to the structures and the tissues in the maxillofacial area.

Although for the general public, the teeth that are primarily associated with dentistry is not limited to odontology, which is Greek for tooth. Dental school is the study of the abnormalities, development, and structure of the teeth. And since there is a substantial overlap in the different concepts, dentistry is frequently understood to subsume the now bigger defunct medical specialty of the study of the mouth and its diseases and disorders.

Today, dentistry is largely considered important for our overall health and the treatment that is done by a dental team that has been educated and trained in this field. Some of those people are the dentist, dental assistants, and dental therapists. The majority of dentists today work in a private practice and others may work with a hospital as secondary care or in institutions such as armed force bases and prisons.