Must-read books for dentists

Six Must-Read Books for Dentists

“I should read more often.”

How many times do you catch yourself saying this?

It’s an idea that pops into our heads all too often. Maybe you’ve a burst of motivation on a slow Sunday afternoon, or maybe it’s your resolution for the new year. 

And, as a medical professional, it’s an important goal to keep in mind. Books help expand your knowledge, your passion, and your work.

Learning is a life-long process, and no matter how long you’ve been in the business, there’s always something new to learn.

But, you’ve got a crazy schedule – balancing work, family, chores, and everything else that comes with living your life.

When you finally have a chance to relax and read a bit, which one should you pick up?

Well, if you’re looking for a place to start – but don’t want the heavy reading of a medical textbook – then you can’t go wrong with any of these five books for dentists.

Let’s start off the list with one on the lighter side – sort of.

The Excruciating History of Dentistry: Toothsome Tales & Oral Oddities from Babylon to Braces

Author: James Wynbrandt

Did you know as many as 50,000 corpses had their teeth removed following the Battle of Waterloo, leading to a bumper-crop of dentures and imlants known as ‘Waterloo teeth’?

Definitely strange. Yet somehow, fascinating.

The Excruciating History of Dentistry is one of those books for dentists definitely not for any nervous patients out there.

But, if you’re passionate about history, especially the odd, strange, and painfully bizarre, it’s right up your alley.

A fun book and easy to read, Wynbrandt offers up some uniquely specific information.

It explores how dental treatments and oral issues impacted some of America’s most historic trials, including how George Washington’s poor oral health helped win the Revolutionary War.

And, it introduces the father of dentistry, Pierre Fauchard, and his unorthodox treatments – like swishing urine around the mouth for health.

Historian James Wynbrandt packs plenty of odd, yet fascinating information into this read. And, it’s well worth the time if you’ve an interest in the wildly weird past of your profession.

If you love history, consider checking this one out – but maybe, keep it at home.  

Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality and the Struggle for Oral Health in America

Author: Mary Otto

If you’re interested not only in oral health, but also how it differs among parts of our society, then Teeth is the read for you.

This book explores a wide variety of topics significant to both dentistry, and society at large.

Here, the topics range from connections between tooth decay and societal struggles, to how the teeth of celebrities such as Judy Garland and Shirley Temple were treated.

It explores how some use prayer to deal with the suffering of tooth pain, shares the story of a dental tragedy that rallied the attention of Congress, and provides evidence from various oral studies.  

It’s an important perspective on the inequalities of dental treatments across class & racial divides, and demonstrates a broad understanding of the relationship between dentistry and society as a whole.

If you’re looking for something less technical, focusing more on the human experience, then this is one of those books for dentists you won’t want to skip.

Titans of Dentistry: How the Top Performers Think and Act Differently

Authors: Justin Short and David Maloley

Drawing on some of the biggest names in the field, Titans of Industry looks at what separates “the best” from “the rest”.

If you’re looking for books for dentists to inspire, motivate, and separate you from the others, look no further.

The book is comprised of 39 different interviews with successful members of the dental world.

The authors, both dentists themselves, seek insight from Dr. Bill Blatchford of Blatchford Solutions, Howard Farran of Dentaltown, and Dr. Bruce Baird of Granbury Dental Center, Productive Dentist Academy and Compassionate Finance, along with a variety of others.

You’ll uncover morning routines, mindsets, and values to help drive your success and take your practice to the next level.  

Where There is No Dentist

Author: Murray Dickson

Looking for a new perspective on your field?

If you’ve ever wondered about how dentistry is practiced around the world, especially in under-served nations, then Where There is No Dentist is a must-read.

Spending time with his wife throughout various parts of Africa, Murray Dickson crafts a book for dentists meant to act as a guide for village medical care in these remote areas.

While the practices in this book might not match the context you traditionally practice in, understanding how dentistry is conducted outside of US is an eye-opening experience, shedding new light on oral care treatment around the world.

And, it could also act as a way to amplify the importance you feel in the work you do.

It’s important to note here that Dickson’s books are commonly updated with the most current information available, so you’ll need to consider which edition you’re purchasing if you decide to give this book a read.  

So You Want to Be a Dental Hygienist: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Author: Lisa Nitkowski

Students everywhere spend a lot of time asking questions about their future path. Sometimes, those answers are hard to find within a classroom setting.

So You Want to be a Dental Hygienist is designed as the unbiased solution to that dilemma.

Here, Lisa Nitkowski, a medical professional of 18 years, shares what to expect when dental school ends your career begins.

Short, quick, and to-the-point (at around 70 pages in the paperback version), it provides expectations of what a dental student can expect once you enter “the real world.”

If you’re a dental student wondering if you’re on the right path or if you should adjust, it could be one of the most important books of your schooling.

Evolution’s Bite: A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins

Author: Peter S. Ungar

Our last entry also examines a bit of history – but not like our first suggestion. Maybe excruciating history isn’t exactly your thing, but you’re still a fan of the past.

If so, Evolution’s Bite might be just what you’re after.

Here, Peter Ungar, a noted paleoanthropologist, examines the changes of teeth over the course of human evolution. He also delves into what it means for the nature and elements of previous eras.

It’s a great read not only for the general knowledge it provides, but also to learn why the mouths of mankind developed they way they did.

Offering insight on dietary changes, climate change throughout the ages, and much more, it’s a fascinating look into why teeth and jaw structure evolved to their modern-day form.

The takeaway: Books for Dentists can be enjoyable

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the hectic nature of the business. 

There’s always a new scientific study, journal, or treatment you need to know about.

While those are important to be sure, that doesn’t mean there are a world of other interesting choices to read.

Whether you’re into the bizarre and obscure oddities of the past, or reaching to understand another’s point of view, these books for dentists are more than just something to read.

They’re a window into another world.



About First Choice Dental Lab

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