Aeronautic Dentistry

By | August 21, 2023

Aeronautic or space dentistry is the new branch of dentistry that deals with the application of dentistry in an aeronautical environment. There is a profound effect of microgravity on human health which also includes the oral cavity. Few trials have been done to see the impact of space on the oral cavity. The field was developed to address the unique challenges of oral health care in high-altitude environments, where changes in air pressure and other factors can have significant effects on dental health.

Aeronautic dentistry is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental and oral health issues that can affect pilots and other aircrew members. This includes addressing issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental conditions that can be exacerbated by the unique conditions of flight. It also involves evaluating and managing any dental issues that may affect an individual’s ability to safely operate an aircraft.

To become an aeronautic dentist, a dentist must first obtain a degree in dentistry and complete additional specialized training in aeronautic dentistry. This training typically involves courses and clinical experience in aviation medicine, aerospace physiology, and other related fields.

Aeronautic dentists may work for commercial airlines, military organizations, or private aviation companies. They are responsible for evaluating the dental health of pilots and aircrew members, providing treatment for any dental issues, and providing guidance on oral health care practices that can help prevent dental issues in high-altitude environments.

Overall, aeronautic dentistry plays an important role in ensuring the safety and well-being of pilots and other aircrew members, as well as the passengers they serve.

Balwant Rai is the pioneer of Aeronautic dentistry and is Editor in Chief of the Internet Journal of Dental Science. He has also published the curriculum of space dentistry. Below are the articles and news related to space dentistry.

Space dentistry: extraterrestrial studies on teeth

Aeronautic Dentistry: A New Specialized branch and its Curriculum Guidelines

A full research article by Balwant Rai, Jasdeep Kaur, and Bernard H. Foing published in International Journal of Dentistry Volume 2011.
MCQ s on Aeronautic Dentistry
  1. What is Aeronautic Dentistry primarily concerned with? a) Maintenance of aircraft engines b) Dental care for aviation professionals c) Designing aircraft interiors d) Air traffic control operations
  2. Why is Aeronautic Dentistry important for pilots and aircrew? a) To enhance their vision b) To prevent motion sickness c) To maintain oral hygiene during flights d) To ensure oral health does not affect performance
  3. Which of the following factors can contribute to oral health issues in aviation professionals? a) Decreased cabin pressure b) Frequent changes in time zones c) Exposure to high levels of oxygen d) Reduced air humidity
  4. What is “barodontalgia” in the context of Aeronautic Dentistry? a) A condition caused by exposure to barometric pressure changes b) A technique for maintaining dental equipment in aircraft c) The study of dental materials used in aviation d) A term for airborne bacteria affecting oral health
  5. How does reduced cabin pressure during flights affect dental health? a) It leads to dental enamel erosion b) It causes toothaches and sensitivity c) It accelerates tooth growth d) It has no impact on dental health
  6. Which dental issue is commonly associated with changes in cabin pressure? a) Gum bleeding b) Tooth discoloration c) Root canal infections d) Filling fractures
  7. What is the purpose of a dental pre-flight checklist for aviation professionals? a) To assess their knowledge of aviation regulations b) To ensure they have adequate food and water c) To identify any potential dental issues before flying d) To confirm their seat assignments on the aircraft
  8. How can aviation professionals prevent dental problems during flights? a) Avoid eating or drinking b) Chew gum with sugar c) Maintain proper oral hygiene routines d) Avoid using oxygen masks
  9. What is the recommended procedure for aviation professionals to follow if they experience dental pain during a flight? a) Request a seat change b) Seek medical attention after landing c) Discontinue flight duties immediately d) Apply ice to the affected area
  10. What role does oral health play in the overall well-being of aviation professionals? a) No significant role b) It affects their physical appearance only c) It can impact their comfort, performance, and safety d) It only affects their communication skills

Answers: 1 – b, 2 – d, 3 – b, 4 – a, 5 – b, 6 – d, 7 – c, 8 – c, 9 – b, 10 – c