Dentistry in a historical perspective and a likely future of the profession

Ole Fejerskov, Sergio Uribe, Rodrigo J. Mariño

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


From the earliest times, humans have shown concern for oral diseases and how to repair their effects. Archaeological findings show signs of dental caries in several ancient cultures, with the earliest evidence of any dental intervention found in a pair of 13,000-year-old teeth in Italy. By the middle of the twentieth century, dentistry had become well established as a technical expertise where the dentist could perform delicate operative procedures in the oral cavity. The focus shifted from the surgical to the restorative, which allowed restoring damaged teeth, with the aim of keeping the teeth functioning in the mouth. While modern oral health care has benefited enormously from advances such as fluoridation, the oral health professions still face significant challenges, such as the major inequalities in oral health, both within and between countries in terms of disease severity and prevalence. Looking to the future, there are key trends which will greatly influence how oral health care is conceptualised and organised, how oral health care personnel are trained and how they will deliver health services to the population. These trends are: the pervasive use of communication and information technologies, world globalisation and migratory movements, the ageing of the world population and climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCareer Paths in Oral Health
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319897318
ISBN (Print)9783319897301
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • History
  • Oral health
  • Oral health professions

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 3.1. Articles or chapters in proceedings/scientific books indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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