Rush Creek Dentistry
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General Dentistry: A History of the Dentist

March 29, 2019
Posted By: Rush Creek Dentistry
dentist showing patient an x-ray

Overview of the Topic:

Dentists have been around for thousands of years. 7500 BC is the earliest recordings of when dentistry became practiced. People have looked for ways to keep their teeth healthy and improve their oral health for many millennia. Dentistry has been evolving ever since and has become much more sophisticated and advanced over time until we have the type of technologies that we see available in dentistry today.

Early Dentistry:

Early Dentistry dates back as far as 7500 BC when the ancient Egyptians began creating replacements for teeth that people had to have extracted. Those replacement teeth became the frontrunners to the modern dentures that we see today. Back in ancient times, dentistry was considered a form of medicine. Today, it's considered a preventative measure that helps people avoid future problems with their teeth by keeping them clean and healthy throughout the person's entire life in hopes that they never have problems in the future.

Middle Ages:

By the Middle Ages, dentistry had developed from just a way to replace teeth that people lost to decay and rot to having people that got identified as dental practitioners (early back as 2600 BC), showing advances in the field of dentistry. By the time Aristotle and Socrates were writing (about 500 BC), they were referring to eruption patterns of teeth, teeth that were decaying, types of gum disease, and how to extract teeth with forceps or even treat broken bones such as jaws.

Other dental milestones of the Middle Ages include the following:

  • As of 1530 the first ever known "book" about teeth was written and titled "The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities."
  • By 1563 there first "accurate" book on dentistry was written by Bartholomew Eusttachius when he wrote "Libellus de Dentibus."
  • By 1575 the title "Father of Surgery" was given to Ambrose Pare and by 1683 Antony van Leeuwenhoek identified oral bacteria.
  • By 1685 there was a text written in English about dentistry, and it was titled "The Operator for the Teeth," and the author was Charles Allen.

At points in the Middle Ages, there were decrees in places such as France that prohibited monks and others from practicing tooth extractions or other dental surgeries. Papal edicts had similar effects across other parts of the world, meaning that at certain times in some countries, practicing dental-related work was illegal. 

Modern Dentistry:

Today, Modern Dentistry has continued to evolve in leaps and bounds. We have come up with technologies that can preserve the human tooth to last a person their entire lifetimes. In the 19th and 20th centuries, we have discovered everything we know today, including the following:

  • How to make dental fillings (1855).
  • In 1859 the year before the Dental Hospital of London opened and treated their first patients in 1858.
  • The American Dental Association (ADA) also got created by 26 scientists who met in Niagara Falls in 1859.
  • How to new materials to fill teeth with such as silicate cement (1871).
  • By 1877 the hydraulic dental chair was invented and called the "Wilkerson Chair."
  • In 1880 the British Dental Association (BDA) was founded.
  • In 1884 cocaine was introduced as the first local anesthetic by Carl Koeller.
  • In 1903 Charles Land devised the porcelain jacket crown.
  • By 1924 the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) was founded by Juliette Southard and women were being hired as dental assistants for the first time.
  • By 1938 nylon toothbrushes were helping people improve their oral health as they hit the market and were available to the average consumer for the first time.
  • By the 1950s they were marketing fluoride toothpaste.
  • In 1958 dental chairs began to recline to help make procedures more comfortable for patients.
  • In 1989 the first take-home products with bleach were marketed to the public.
  • In 1997 lasers entered the dental industry for the first time.

As you can see all of these events have become landmarks in helping dentists make dentistry what it is today. As of the 2000s, more technologies continue to get introduced, and the care provided for patients is at a higher level than ever before.

Rush Creek Dentistry Provides Top Quality Care:

At Rush Creek Dentistry, we are proud to embrace the most recent technology available to help our patients receive top-quality care. If you need dental care, please feel free to contact us at 817-962-2323 to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience and enjoy all of the comforts and perks that modern dentistry has to offer.

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