Dentist and assistant with patient

Dentistry – the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, as well as related structures and tissues, particularly in the jaw and facial area.

Dentistry equipment

  • drill
  • x-ray

restorative treatment

  • fillings
  • bridges
  • crown – a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials – gold, other cast metals, porcelain. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth.
  • prosthetic (dentures)
Before and After Photos following Orthodontic Treatment – Teeth Braces

dental braces – used to align and straighten teeth and help to position them with regard to a person’s bite, while also working to improve dental health. They are often used to correct underbites, as well as malocclusions, overbites, cross bites, open bites, deep bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw.

False teeth

George Washington did not have wooden teeth. His dentures were made of gold, hippopotamus ivory, lead, and human and animal teeth (including horse and donkey teeth).

  • Washington’s Dentures (video 2:04) – Dr. Susan Schoelwer, Curator at Mount Vernon, highlights the many interesting facets around George Washington’s dentures. Mount Vernon’s set of dentures is the only remaining full-set of Washington dentures in existence and they can be seen at Mount Vernon.
  • dental implants –
  • tissue engineering – use of dental implants involve biomaterials and tissue engineering. Applications include: restorative material adhesion, osseous tissue reconstruction, tooth replacement therapies

What’s the problem?
Dental implants – biomechanical considerations. The long-term success of implants is determined, in part, by the forces they have to support. There is no sensation of pressure when biting so the forces created are higher. To offset this, the location of implants must distribute forces evenly across the prosthetics they support. Concentrated forces can result in fracture of the bridgework, implant components, or loss of bone adjacent the implant. The location of implants is based on both biologic (bone type, vital structures, health) and mechanical factors.

  • Ask – Deciding where to place a dental implant is an engineering problem. How much force will be applied when biting and chewing with the replacement tooth? How strong is the bone below?
  • Imagine – The dentist has to consider where to insert the implant to ensure that it will be strong.
  • Design, Build
  • Improve

Engineering ideas

  • material, tissue, diagnosis, implant, adhesion, reconstruction