Dentistry is an art form. The mouth is the canvas, the dental tools are the paintbrush, and the materials are your paint. Put all these together, and you can create some beautiful dental work.
For me and many of my classmates, it was our initial interest in the arts led us to eventually pursue dentistry. Whether it was handwritten calligraphy, playing musical instruments, photography, or even graphic design, being able to use our creative processes to better serve the oral health needs of our communities was a perfect match. Although our focus has shifted from the aesthetic to the esthetic, we are still able to build and create things for others using our hands. Art led us to dentistry, but sometimes we see the reverse – when science and dentistry become a source inspiration for artists. My curiosity one day led me to a Google search for “dentistry in art,” which yielded several rather interesting results: 17th and 18th century paintings of men surrounding a grimacing patient being treated, carvings of demons and spirits in teeth, and even pairs of shoes lined by human teeth. Yikes.