Good oral health is essential for the well-being of any individual. In Nigeria, there are numerous qualified oral healthcare givers that have different levels of expertise and experience. Different oral care services are offered depending on the need. Just like in any other country, dentistry in Nigeria is practiced under specific rules and regulations. This is to ensure that patients receive only quality and relevant services. Among the dental services that patients may seek include teeth alignment, filling, crowning, extraction, whitening and even gum and general oral cavity related services.
Dentistry is a wide medical field and therefore a single individual cannot handle all the areas it covers. Before one is certified as a dentist, he or she has to undergo the necessary training and then pass the examinations assigned by the relevant bodies. While in training, one chooses a specific area of dentistry which they will specialize in. of course, there is also the basic training that all dentists have to take before they can major in their preferred areas.
There are those that have solely specialized in oral diseases. They are called oral pathologists and their major function is to identify the diseases and disorders in patients and then recommend the best cure. Again, we have general dentists that can only perform simple oral procedures such as care and maintenance services. Other types of dentists found in Nigeria include periodontists, endodontists, orthodontist, oral surgery dentists and prosthondists. All these ensure that the jaws, gums, teeth, nerves, lips and all other parts the oral system are in good health and are functioning properly. It is common to find all these dentists working together as some conditions may require the contribution of dentists from different fields.
Nigeria Dental Association (NDA) is a well known non-governmental and non-profit organization established for the purpose of representing and improving the profession of dentistry in Nigeria. The organization works together with other related establishments, both locally and internationally to see to it that the country attains the best possible oral health for its population. NDS was set up in Lagos, Nigeria in 1967 by a small group of dentists that practiced in the then national capital. Since then it has increased its members’ population to up to 4000 members that practice both locally and in abroad. The body works close with all those that perform dentistry in Nigeria and other oral healthcare stakeholders to ensure that the latest dental technology is used and that knowledge concerning the field is regularly updated.