The History of Dentistry

Did you know that dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions on Earth? The earliest evidence of dentistry in ancient times dates back to 7000 B.C, teeth were found in a Neolithic graveyard located in Pakistan. The teeth have evidence of holes made from primitive dental drills. The first recorded mention of dentistry was all the way back in 5,000 B.C! A Sumerian text described that dental decay was caused by something known as a “tooth worm.” Sadly, this wasn’t proven false until the 1700s.

The first “dentist” was an Egyptian named Hesy-Re, his tomb was inscribed with “the greatest of those who deal with teeth, and of physicians,” and is the first known documented “dental practitioner.”

During the times of ancient Greece, both Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about dentistry and the treatment of decayed teeth. However, the first book that was devoted entirely to dentistry, known as The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Disease and Infirmities of Teeth” wasn’t published until 1530.

In the 1700s, dentistry finally became a more defined profession. In 1723, Pierre Fauchard credited as “the Father of Modern Dentistry,” published The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth which defined a system for caring for and treating teeth affected by decay and disease. Fauchard also introduced the idea that sugar led to dental decay, dental fillings, and even the use of prosthesis in dental practice.

In 1840, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery (the first dental college) was opened. In 1841, Alabama enacted the first dental practice act, and almost 20 years later, The American Dental Association was born. In 1873, Colgate began mass producing toothpaste, with mass-produced toothbrushes to follow a few years later.

Each day, advancements are made in the Dentistry field, with laser dentistry, dental implants, and even one-hour teeth whitening. What may be next? Let us know what you think!