With over 20 years in the dental industry, our team at Kirkland Family Dentistry has seen quite a few technological advances in the care of your teeth. It has taken several centuries for dentistry to get to the point it is at today.
Here is a look at some of the odd practices dentists used to do, and other unique facts about dentistry throughout time.
- The first known reference to a dental practitioner is on a tomb from Ancient Egypt – dated to around 2600 B.C. The man who cared for teeth was also a physician and a scribe. Talk about filling many different roles!
- Around 400 B.C., two well-known philosophers wrote about tooth extractions using forceps and treated decayed teeth and gums. Whoever thought Aristotle and Hippocrates would also explore the mouth?
- Gold crowns date back to 166 A.D and an early version of the silver filling used today dates back to 700 A.D.
- Barbers used to perform teeth extractions, as well as shaving. Who wouldn’t want their barber to cut their hair, shave their beard and then pull their tooth?
- The 1500’s produced several reference books solely on dentistry: one from Germany and another from France. These were the first books dedicated to the practice of dentistry.
- White enameling on fake teeth and crowns was first introduced in 1746. It seems that vanity and having good-looking teeth dates back more than 250 years!
- Paul Revere did more than alert the Americans that the British Troops were on their way – he was also a dentist. Old newspapers from 1768 carry advertisements for his professional dentistry services.
- Vulcanite dentures were first introduced in 1839 and riddled with legal battles for almost a quarter of a century. They replaced the often ill-fitting and uncomfortable metal and bone dentures warn previously.
- Before 1840, you could not receive a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree. Most dentists had little to no formal education – training under a dentist for a number of years to learn the art of caring for teeth.
- Before the 1880’s, toothpaste only came in a liquid or powder form and was often produced by individual dentists. The modern toothpaste tube revolutionized production around this time.
- Most Americans didn’t brush their teeth until after WWII. The army had a strict policy on regular tooth brushing that the soldiers brought home after the war. Talk about bad breath!
Dentistry has been around a lot long than most people would have originally thought – from wire brackets for stabilizing teeth, to root canals and extractions without painkillers, our fore-fathers sure had it a lot harder when it came to treating dental maladies.