Why is dentistry and podiatry separate from medicine?

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Like why do dentists and podiatrists have their own special schools for their profession. Why is dental insurance separate from medical insurance? What makes oral health and calf/foot health so special that it requires its own schooling? The cardiovascular system is really complex yet all cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons go to medical school first. What makes dentistry and podiatry any different?

In: Biology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’m just confused as to why dentistry and podiatry can’t be medical specialties that medical graduates can specialize in rather than completely different professions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The short answer for why dentists aren’t doctors: Tradition.

The long answer:

One of the very obvious treatments that was discovered very early on (I’m talking the Assyrians) was that you can stop toothache by pulling the teeth out. And it **worked**, unlike a lot of early treatments. This wound up creating the profession known as the Barber-Surgeon. In the middle ages, you went to a barber, not a doctor, for teeth pulling and surgery. Surgery and dentistry was looked down upon as messy and unpleasant.

Medicine and dentistry were then, very different things. Early doctors weren’t all that good (through no fault of their own) – they could help, they’d look after you, they try and get you better, but they didn’t have modern medicine; no antibiotics for your infection, no insulin for your diabetes, so on. Contrast that with the barber-surgeon, who reached into your gob, yanked your tooth out, and then you actually were cured.

Dentistry wasn’t as academic as medicine because it was so ‘hands on’, so there’s long been a divide between the two. Barber-surgeons weren’t considered on the same level as doctors and physicians – they didn’t need to be educated, didn’t need to go to university, they could just apprentice to a barber and there you have it, now I can amputate your limb. “Dentists” were tradesmen, not academics.

Then science advances; we discover things like blood circulation and that bacteria exist, and about anaesthetics, and the practise of dentistry gets more complex. In 1840, the first dental college opened in Baltimore, and a few more colleges crop up and become associated with university, and at last, Dentistry is considered an actually academic subject and a respectable profession.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Dentistry could and should be a branch of “medicine”. There’s historical reasons for the division but what keeps it apart is money. Dentists make so much money in private practice that they really don’t want anything to do with medicine – especially in countries where medicine is socialised.