Authors
Dylan Rakhra
University of Bristol
Abstract
Despite their shared origins, medicine and dentistry are not always two sides of the same coin. There is a long history in medical philosophy of defining disease and various medical models have come into existence. Hitherto, little philosophical and phenomenological work has been done considering dental caries and periodontitis as examples of disease and illness. A philosophical methodology is employed to explore how we might define dental caries and periodontitis using classical medical models of disease – the naturalistic and normativist. We identify shared threads and highlight how the features of these highly prevalent dental diseases prevent them fitting in either definition. The article describes phenomenology and the current thought around the phenomenology of illness, exploring how and why these dental illnesses might integrate into a phenomenological model. We discover that there are some features particular to dental caries and periodontitis: ubiquity, preventability and hyper-monitorablility. Understanding the differences that these dental diseases have compared to many other classically studied diseases leads us to ethical questions concerning how we might manage those who have symptoms and seek treatment. As dental caries and periodontitis are common, preventable and hyper-monitorable, it is suggested that these features affect the phenomenology of these illnesses. For example, if we experience dental illness when we have consciously made decisions that have led to it, do we experience them differently to those rarer illnesses that we cannot expect? Other diseases share these features are discussed. This paper highlights the central differences between the classical philosophical notion of disease in medicine and the dental examples of caries and periodontitis. It suggests that a philosophical method of conceptualising medical illness - phenomenology - should not be applied to these dental illnesses without thought. A phenomenological analysis of any dental illness is yet to be done and this paper highlights why a separate strand of phenomenology should be explored, instead of employing those that are extant. The article concludes with suggestions for further research into the nascent field of the phenomenology of dental illness and aims to act as a springboard to expose the dental sphere to this philosophical method of analysis.
Keywords phenomenology  naturalism  normativism  illness  disease  caries  periodontal  dentistry
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1186/s13010-019-0084-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

The Absent Body.Drew Leder - 1990 - University of Chicago Press.
Health as a Theoretical Concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
Phenomenology of Illness.Havi Carel - 2016 - Oxford University Press.

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

More About Ontology: Response.Barry Smith, Louis Goldberg, Michael Glick & Alan Ruttenberg - 2011 - Journal of the American Dental Association 142 (3):252-254.
Nip and Tuck for Definite Description.Barry Schein - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (2):177-206.
Ontology and the Future of Dental Research Informatics.Barry Smith, Louis J. Goldberg, Alan Ruttenberg & Michael Glick - 2010 - Journal of the American Dental Association 141 (10):1173-75.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-10-26

Total views
73 ( #156,353 of 2,499,668 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #89,710 of 2,499,668 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes