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The History of Dentists

Dentists are everywhere and with good reason… a dentist is someone that is able to prevent and treat conditions or diseases that occur in our mouths. Seeing that our oral cavity is a big part of everyone’s daily routine, it is of the utmost importance that we take care of our mouths and dentists play a crucial role in that. Dentists have been around for a while and have a great history… but many don’t know about the history of dentists.

 

In the older days (around the Middle Ages) the only people that would perform dentistry for people were barbers. During these times, you could make a distinction of barbers that did dentistry work into two categories… either the guild of barbers or lay barbers. The guilds of barbers were those that had some education in the field of dentistry and were qualified as dental surgeons. They were able to do complex dental surgeries because they were trained to do so. The lay barbers were able to do hygienic services in the form of dentistry… this included shaving teeth and performing tooth extractions when necessary. Lay barbers were also able to provide basic surgery for those that needed it. While this worked for a little while, in 1400 there was a declaration put out in France that stated that lay barbers were prohibited from performing all types of dental surgery.

 

From about 1530 to 1575 there were publications that were made in France and Germany that were all about dentistry. Once that began, more publications about dentistry were put out, including work that was done by Ambrose Pare, who was well known as the Father of Surgery… he was a barber-surgeon from France that gave dental care to many French monarchs. The work that was published by Pare was devoted to properly maintaining teeth and how you should treat your teeth.

 

The first dental school and national dental organization was formed in the 1840’s. When the dental school was formed, so was the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (DDS). With there being so much interest in becoming dentists and the many techniques of dentistry, the very first dental practice was recognized in France. Throughout the time of dentists being trained at school, there were many dentists that were trained and they began to travel to the United States to start practicing their craft.

 

By the year 1760, there were dentists in the United States that were natives. So these dentists could be known and so they could get the word out that they were working, they put ads in newspapers so the word could let people know about their dentistry work. With there being so many dentists that were working, there began to be new methods of dentistry that began to improve the quality of service that was being provided to the patients. Some of the new methods that were being utilized happen to include the spinning wheels that will rotate a drill as well as special chairs that were made especially for dental patients.

 

From about 1846-1855 there were new techniques that were invented which included anesthesia that is used for surgery and a cohesive gold foil that was utilized to reinforce gold that was used to fill cavities. The American Dental Association (ADA) was established in 1859… this occurred when 26 dentists had a meeting together.

 

Before 1880 toothpaste came in the form of powder or liquid… in the year 1880, tube toothpaste was produced and the other methods were then replaced. From then came more techniques dentists could use including Novocain, porcelain crowns, water fluoridation, air driven dental tools, electric toothbrushes and so much more. The history of dentistry is one that is fascinating and one that will continue to extend throughout the test of time.

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Charlotte Dentistry®
Armstrong & Eshleman, PA

201 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28207
704-376-6470
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Saturday: 8am - 1pm

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