The Atlantic recently published an article titled “The Truth About Dentistry”, which suggested that dentistry is not based on science and evidence. However, this is not the case. Dentistry is a discipline that requires critical thinking and clinical reasoning in order to make informed decisions. Critical thinking, as defined by the American Philosophical Society, is “the process of judgment with purpose and self-regulation that gives reasoned consideration to evidence, contexts, conceptualizations, methods and criteria”.
This process is essential for dentists to provide the best care for their patients. When providing dental care, dentists must consider all aspects of a patient's dental condition, including the health of their gums, teeth and jaw. In some cases, the desired level of care may not be achievable due to various reasons. In these cases, context becomes an important factor in determining the outcome of treatment.
Dentists also have a responsibility to their patients to provide the best care possible. This commitment forms the basis of a social contract between dentists and society, which grants dentists autonomy in practice and the privilege of self-regulation. It is important to note that dental care should not be viewed as a binary exercise; that is, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The context of treatment must be taken into account when assessing the level of care provided.
When visiting the dentist's office, it is important to take the time to consider all aspects of your dental care. Doing so will ensure that you receive the best possible treatment.