Is dentistry considered science?

A recent article in The Atlantic, “The Truth About Dentistry”, uses the horrible exploits of an individual to accuse an entire profession. The article states that dentistry is not a discipline based on science and evidence. However, GPCs considered on their own and in isolation from the facts of the case do not represent the standard of care.” Critical thinking is defined by the American Philosophical Society15 as “the process of judgment with purpose and self-regulation that gives reasoned consideration to evidence, contexts, conceptualizations, methods and criteria,” demonstrating how this process is integral to clinical reasoning and decision-making. However, as any physician will know, while the alpha level is the desired and desirable level of care for a restoration, it cannot always be achieved for a variety of reasons and, therefore, context becomes an important consideration when judging the outcome of treatment.

A good dentist will consider all aspects of your dental condition, including the health of your gums, teeth and jaw. In the rare event that the infection returns, the patient should go through the entire experience again or consider more advanced surgery. These commitments form the basis of a social contract between a profession and society, which in return gives the profession a monopoly on the use of its knowledge base, the right to considerable autonomy in practice and the privilege of self-regulation. It should not be considered as a binary exercise; that is, restoration is satisfactory or unsatisfactory, because the context of treatment is paramount to assess the level of care.

But in the dentist's office, perhaps because we both fear dental procedures and belittle their medical importance, the impulse is to comply without much consideration, to end everything as soon as possible.

Norma Dickhaus
Norma Dickhaus

Lifelong food evangelist. Amateur food maven. Award-winning explorer. Extreme internet buff. Certified twitter scholar.

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