Oral Anatomy Histology and Embryology updated and augmented to meet the needs of dental students worldwide
Oral Anatomy Histology and Embryology fifth edition of our book, although following the form and principles established in our earlier editions, has involved us making substantial changes to the text and to the imagery. In particular, we have made major revisions to the chapters concerned with functional anatomy, enamel, alveolar bone, temporomandibular joint, salivary glands, amelogenesis, dentinogenesis and anthropological applications of tooth structure. However, all chapters have undergone revisions, whether to change and update the text or to improve, or add to, the images. For example, for the chapter describing the general appearance of the oral cavity we have incorporated many new images and, within the chapter for dento-osseous structures, all the images for tooth morphology have been increased in size by 50% in order to make clearer the features we describe in the text. Line diagrams for each chapter have all been redrawn for consistency of style across the book and there is a brief overview at the beginning and a set of learning objectives at the end of each chapter. Many new references have been added at the end of each chapter so that students can, where interest takes them, follow up and expand upon our descriptions and comments.
As for the previous editions, we have retained the considerable number of illustrations so that much of the information we present is in visual form. Indeed, we remain adamant that a single image is ‘worth a thousand words’, particularly where photographs and photomicrographs are employed rather than diagrams. In this respect, we still wish students to look at ‘real’ material, warts and all!
There is much talk in the world of healthcare education about the need to teach ‘core’ material and to provide students with clear sets of objectives for their learning. Putting aside the issue of whether we wish students to become deep learners rather than superficial or strategic learners for examinations (the authors would prefer deep learning for a learned profession), it would indeed be most useful if internationally there were accepted standards that incorporated ‘core’ knowledge and agreed objectives. Such parameters presently do not exist! We accordingly anguished somewhat on the construction of the ‘learning objectives’ within our book. They remain very generalised at this stage but it is our intention to look very closely at these over the coming years to try to tease out what really is required of today’s dental students for their education in the dental sciences. We would be most grateful for comments from academics and students on these issues so that we can better command what should be taught and learned for oral anatomy, histology and embryology. That said, we are totally wedded to the belief that this book should remain ‘encyclopaedic’ in scope, especially when it seems that there increasingly is a shortage of teachers in the discipline. Furthermore, dentally-qualified teachers in the dental sciences are getting as rare as ‘hens’ teeth’ and hence we have expanded the sections in our book dealing with clinical considerations. Given that many students like to test themselves as they study, we have provided opportunities for self-assessment at the book’s website.
Finally, as we have said in the prefaces for previous editions of this Oral Anatomy Histology and Embryology, we are extremely grateful to our colleagues who have commented and criticised our efforts and we welcome further comments and suggestions. Indeed, we still ‘do not pretend to be infallible and would ask for indulgence if we have strayed from scientific rectitude’.