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A Look At The Origins Of Modern Dentistry


Dentistry involves the study and treatment of the oral cavity. Dentistry helps explain the study of the mouth and its disorders and diseases.

Tooth decay started spreading as farming became popular. Historians believe that the first signs of dentistry came from an infected tooth that was cleaned with tools in Europe. Other historians argue that Neanderthals were the first ones to use dentistry tools. Dentistry was practiced in Malta, according to the findings on a skull that had an abscess on it. A beeswax dental filling was found in Europe that dates back to over 6,000 years ago.

The Indus Valley Civilization practiced dentistry as far back as 7000 BC. Any issues were fixed by bead crafters who used bow drills. Residents were said to have dental issues in India, Egypt, and Japan. Many doctors during this period felt that tooth worms were causing these serious dental issues.

Dentistry can also be traced back to Ancient Greece. Aristotle wrote about treating gum disease. Hippocrates wrote about pulling teeth. Many historians believe that the Etruscans may have been the first people to use dental appliances. During the Roman Empire, medical writers wrote about different oral diseases and dental treatments.

Some of the earliest known dentists were Egypt’s Hesy-Ra and China’s Su Kung. More evidence of dental treatments were referenced in The Ebers Papyrus and The Code Of Hammurabi. During The Islamic Golden Age, dentistry was discussed by writers such as Avicenna. Avicenna studied the works of surgeon Al-Zahrawi. Avicenna wrote that Al-Zahrawi made a lot of different surgical tools.

Modern Times

Around 1800, modern dentistry was developed. French surgeon Pierre Fauchard helped create modern dental instruments through watching jewelers and barbers. Fauchard is credited with introducing dental fillings as a way to treat dental cavities. Fauchard believed that acid from sugar caused teeth decay. Fauchard helped create dental prosthesis and braces.

Following Fauchard’s lead, British surgeon John Hunter published The Natural History of Human Teeth. Hunter began to collaborate with some dentists, as they talked about tooth transplants. Hunter began conducting a number of innovative procedures. During the 19th Century, dentistry evolved into a major profession. The UK Dentist Act was passed, which lead to the formation of The British Dental Association. Dr. John Harris started The World’s first dental school in Ohio. A few years later, The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery opened as the World’s first dental college.

Dentistry has come a long way, feel free to learn more about how we can help your specific situation. Curious about what the best dental schools in U.S. are?