Summary: Dental and medical care are closely interlinked since certain clinical oral manifestations can provide a useful insight into underlying systemic diseases. With recent research highlighting unique ‘two-way’ relationships between systemic and oral disease processes, it is paramount medical students are aware of these. Medical school curricula scarcely cover oral disease and oral examination; the purpose of this article is to provide a foundation for further learning. A clear focus has been made on four key aspects: the core dental team, oral lesions, dental disease and oral manifestations of systemic drugs.
Relevance to Medical Students: Examination of the oral cavity forms an element of the wider physical exam. Hence, an appreciation for dentistry will place medical students in a more confident position knowing that they have an understanding of oral abnormalities. This will not only encourage improved diagnoses but discourage false referrals, making a positive impact on patient care and management.
Take Home Messages: Medicine and dentistry have a firm place in the primary health sector as patients share their health concerns with both their general medical practitioner and their general dental practitioner. Patient care can be greatly enhanced if a closer relationship between the two professions is fostered. This educational piece places a step in that direction by presenting to the reader an insight into the multifaceted speciality of dentistry.