Dental Medical Knowledge

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Medical knowledge is one crucial area of knowledge in dentistry that all dentists need to know and apply to provide better treatment for patients. This is because there is a profound relationship between oral and general health (Little et al., 2002; Association of American Medical Colleges, 2008). Oral health care needs to be delivered with the understanding of etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology and prognosis of systemic diseases and oral related disorders (Commission on Dental Accreditation, 2015). In other words, medical and dental knowledge are mutually consistent and oral health care is an integral part of medical therapy (Dennis, 2010; da Silva Santos & de Oliveira Filho, 2012). In exploring health care education more broadly, it…show more content…
- Appropriate clinical skills to gather medical information and to make the correct interpretations. - Appropriate and relevant connections between basic sciences and clinical data. In dentistry, these three components are also necessary to ensure the quality of professional dental practice. Several medical and dental problems can be explained by using basic science foundations (Dennis, 2010). Basic biomedical sciences and general medicine can help dentists to acknowledge and address the needs and problems of the whole patient (Baum, 2007). For example, some dental procedures such as tooth extraction or minor oral surgery in patients with bleeding disorders have a direct impact on their overall health status and medical care. Prolonged bleeding can occur after tooth removal, which may affect patients’ quality of life (Gupta et al., 2007). Therefore, dental skills and knowledge cannot be learnt without a good understanding of basic science knowledge and internal medicine. Medical knowledge allows dentists to provide a high standard of dental care to patients with both chronic and acute diseases, which make them biologically and pharmacologically compromised (Little et al., 2002; Baum,…show more content…
Medical programmes in the dental curriculum generally consist of basic sciences and clinical medical sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and general medicine, which are taught in the pre-clinical years. These medical subjects can help students grasp basic biological principles and interrelationships of the organ systems (Dennis, 2010). Moreover, they are pre-requisites for dental clinical disciplines both in lectures and clinical practices such as the dental management of medically compromised patients, emergency medicine and geriatric dentistry subjects (Dennis, 2010). However, the arrangement of medical programmes can vary in different dental schools. These models of dental education can affect organisational structures and educational methods within dental schools (Gaengler & Jones, 2001; Hobdell & Petersson, 2001; Holm & Brennan,

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