Aspects of anatomy for successful dentistry

Anatomy has always been regarded as an extremely important basic for a medical course. An understanding of anatomy is key to the practice of all branches of medicine including Dentistry. Human anatomy is the study of the structures of the human body.

Aspects of anatomy for successful dentistry

The Art and Science of Dentistry is a set of clinical skills concerning prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dental diseases and oral hygiene. The ‘Art’ in Dentistry includes restoration and enhancement of aesthetic appearance of the teeth.

Anatomy is the central core of medical education. Thus, learning Anatomy for students of Dentistry can lead to a better understanding and also create connections among the different courses and their practice during the clinical period.

It is important to have a sound knowledge of the Anatomy and the development of the teeth and mouth in order to maintain good oral health. By understanding normal mouth development and learning to recognize abnormal conditions, a dentist will be able to spot the early warning signs of problems or disease.

Dental anatomy goes much beyond the shape of teeth. The dental science of occlusion studies the functional interaction of tooth shapes on each other, and the dynamics of the mandibular movements in the TMJ joint on the cusp arrangements, and simple concepts such as the curves of Spee and Wilson.

As a Dentist tooth internal and external anatomy should always be kept in mind, to restore esthetics, function effectively and to safely extract teeth as there are specific techniques for removing teeth based on their root anatomy. The normal anatomy and variations of the root canal systems of each tooth to be known to find all the canals in the root canal system.

Teeth arrangement and position to be known based on anatomy otherwise someone bite may be screwed. To safely and effectively anaesthetize teeth, locations of major nerves should be known when doing surgery e.g. removing impacted wisdom teeth, to decide if the impacted tooth can be removed intact or if it has to be sectioned. Knowing anatomy gives the ability to properly section teeth.

Study of anatomy based on dissection of cadaver is a kind of deep learning method. Students need to study gross anatomy, oral anatomy including tooth morphology, neuroanatomy, histology and embryology. Courses in dental gross anatomy inevitably focus on the anatomy of the head and neck.

Basic foundations in histology provide a necessary introduction to the histology of the specialized dental tissues. An introductory embryology course informs the basis for a detailed study of pre- and postnatal development of the head and neck.

One of the main topics in anatomy is Neuroanatomy is required for understanding of pain, jaw movements and somatic sensation. The relationship between cranial nerves and the quality of a dentist work, brings a great importance to this field of anatomy.

Here are a few cases where understanding of Anatomy was crucial

1. Wisdom tooth: Due to knowledge of anatomy of his own jaws and genetics of his family, a dentist had extracted all of his four wisdom teeth from the root before they grew as he knew his jaws would not be able to accommodate them without disturbing the molars.

2. Bite: A dentist has screwed up his patient’s bite by doing wrong capping without understanding anatomy of the Maxillary third molar, which was splayed by about 30 degrees. He prepared wrong cap for mandibular second molar. So Disaster was waiting to happen as it caused hindrance with maxillary wisdom tooth and led to the fracture of mandibular second molar.

3. Overcrowding and Diastema: 

a. If there is condition of very small jaws this may cause the teeth to overcrowd and grow on top of another so some teeth can also be extracted in advance.

b. There may be Diastema which can be corrected by Orthodontic treatment putting braces.
But still some people just leave it and enjoy their natural smile like famous Actors Dev Anand and Moushumi Chatterjee, as all smiles are unique and beautiful itself. 
Conclusion: Almost everything we do is based on our knowledge of anatomy including dental anatomy. We can solve the problems of patient by preempting and understanding it. Thus we see how important anatomy for dentistry and serves as a very crucial knowledge. It is the foundation and back bone of our career in dentistry. 

Written By
Khushi  Agarwal, BDS (2nd year)
RDCH, Jaipur

Guided by Prof CS Bhan

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