Volume 1, Number 1 (2010)
An Historical Overview of Dentistry in Trinidad and Tobago
To some extent the development of dentistry in the Caribbean parallels that of European societies. Both have their beginnings largely in folk and lay practitioners providing dental care, before the arrival of qualified dentists and, ultimately, the establishment of an organized and self-regulating profession. This paper discusses dentistry in Trinidad and Tobago during British rule, the setting up of the government dental service and its development in the early post-colonial period, in particular the training and deployment of dental nurses. The introduction of dental legislation relating to self-regulation of the profession, ensuring standards of care and outlawing unlicensed dental practitioners is also explored, along with issues relating to the development of the region's first dental school and the graduation of locally trained dentists.