Oral health care has existed with established dental professionals for the last 200 years. Before that time, and for many centuries in the past, there was no anesthetic for dental work. Barbers and surgeons were the professionals most likely to work on your teeth. Toothbrushes as we know them weren’t even invented until 1938, and neither were the health guidelines we have today. Those guidelines help you keep your teeth for life, whereas people in the past had to simply lose them. Find out how oral health care has changed throughout the years to the modern methods we have now!
It All Started in 5000 B.C.
I bet you didn’t know that dentistry was as old as it is, but research shows that dentistry is, in fact, one of the oldest of the medical fields, with documented data referring to tooth decay and procedures as far back as 5000 B.C., the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) reported. “A Sumerian text described tooth worms as causing dental decay, an idea that wasn’t proven false until the 1700s!”
Greece and Dentistry
Two well-known philosophers, Aristotle and Hippocrates referred to treating decaying teeth with a book centered on the subject of dentistry entitled: The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth in 1530.
The Father of Modern Dentistry Comes Along
A couple centuries after the the 1530 book about dentistry you have Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon credited as the Father of Modern Dentistry release his book on dentistry: The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth. This book was distinct from other publications because it outlined a comprehensive treatment plan for oral health care including dental fillings, dental prosthesis and the theory that not worms, but acids from sugar led to tooth decay, wrote the ADEA.
A Dental College Comes to the United States
Fast forward from 1723 to 1840, and you will find the first dental college (Baltimore College of Dental Surgery) educating doctors-to-be on the in’s and out’s of dental care and practice. Legislation came on board in 1841 in Alabama as the first dental practice act. More dental oversight was needed and 20 years later the American Dental Association (ADA) came to be.
Harvard Lands the Legacy of the First University of Dental School in America
Harvard has a well-respected reputation in the medical world, dentistry included. In 1867, they formed the first university dental program to educate the future doctors of our country and those that came from abroad to study there.
Colgate and the First Toothpaste
Wondering if Crest or Colgate has been around longer? Well, according to history, Colgate gets the prize! They began selling there still popular today toothpaste in 1873.
Equal Rights in Dentistry
As we still fight for equal rights for all today, the first African American and first woman to earn dental degrees were fighting too back in 1869 and 1885 respectively. The first female dental assistant was employed in New Orleans in 1885.
Good Oral Health Care and World War II
With the centuries of information about oral health care, tooth decay and the need to brush your teeth, it is shocking to learn that most Americans didn’t come on board with effective brushing habits until after World War II. The ADEA explains that improvement occurred: “…when soldiers stationed abroad brought the concept of good oral health back to the United States!”
Oral History Facts That Will Surprise You
Here are four more intriguing facts that the ADEA found about the field of dentistry that you may be surprised by!
- The first dental X-ray was used in 1896.
- Hesy-Re was an Egyptian scribe who lived around 2600 B.C. and is recognized as the first dental practitioner.
- Edward H. Angle, who started the first school of orthodontics in 1901, created a simple classification for crooked teeth in the late 1800s, a system still in use today.
- Paul Revere, famous for warning Colonial troops that the British were coming, was also trained as a dentist by America’s first dentist, John Baker.
Modern-Day Dentistry Brings You Benefits to Last for Ages
You are living in the best era of oral health care known to man! Today’s dental professionals are more equipped than ever to prevent gum disease and can even offer patients regenerative procedures. Lasers, membranes, bone grafts, and/or proteins can be introduced to stimulate tissue growth and regenerate bone to combat the devastating effects of gum disease. But, regardless of centuries worth of data and advances, eliminating bacteria through daily oral health care practices, and regular treatment visits to your dentist, are still the best ways to win the war against gum disease and other debilitating oral conditions.
Please call Dr. Evanson or a member of her team at (720) 409-0008 if you have any questions or to set up an appointment for a dental exam.Leave a reply →