The Demands of Dentistry: A Look into the Past


The Demands of Dentistry: A Look into the Past

Dental care has made enormous strides since its beginnings dating back to 7000 BC. Back then, dentistry was emergency care more so than cosmetic dental work. After that, family dental care was left in the hands of St. Apollonia who is now considered the Patron Saint of Dentistry. She healed the pain caused by tooth infections and toothaches. Now, instead of solely leaving it to St. Apollonia, dental practices have cropped up across the country to provide top notch family dental care and cosmetic dental work. A dentist Chandler AZ knows today is far from the "dentists" in the BC era.

The BC Era

The first evidence of dentistry was discovered in an ancient graveyard located in Pakistan. Patients showed holes in teeth that had been drilled in people from the Indus Valley civilization. The first title of dentist was given to Hesy-Re who was an Egyptian scribe. It was believed tooth decay was caused by dental worms. As time moved closer to the middle ages, experimentation with dental treatment began to take off.

Mentions of dental practice has been found in text from Hippocrates and Aristotle. A Roman medical writer by the name of Celsus defined the importance of regular dental hygiene practices and the Etruscans may have foreshadowed the use of cosmetic dental work by documenting the use of dental prosthetics.

The Middle Ages of Teeth

While early discoveries of dental work were made, it was the monks who first began regularly practicing dental work. Monks were considered the most educated people of the time period, but were eventually prohibited from continuing to practice. Instead, they partnered with Barbers because Barbers had sharp tools to use from cutting the monks' hair. During this time period, people began to realize the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene because oral bacteria was discovered. Many books about dental care were beginning publication. The first book published in English was "The Operator for the Teeth" by Charles Allen.

The 18th and 19th Centuries in Teeth

This is when the idea of a dental practice started and was a time of many firsts. Pierre Fauchard is considered the "Father of Modern Dentistry." The first toothbrush was invented in China made out of bamboo and hog bristle, but the modern design is credited to William Addis. He created the design while sitting in prison because he wanted a way to clean his teeth. The design was effective, but far from what today's family dental care practitioner would recommend for children.

Dentistry started to become an established practice of care. Research efforts and organizations were formed to fuel the development of improving dental care and practices. The American Journal of Dental Science began publishing articles in 1839 along with the British Dental Journal in 1843. These were meant to keep practitioners up-to-date on the latest findings and developments in dental care.

The 20th Century to Today

Dental procedures started to become more sophisticated and the procedure for teaching others about dentistry more regulated. The first school for oral hygiene opened in 1913 in Connecticut. Most graduates began their careers working on school children, the first idea of a family dental care program. They learned starting care young could prevent dental problems in the future. The benefits of using fluoride were discovered and dental tools become electric power tools.

Today, the use of anesthesia has greatly increased what dentists can do for their patients. The focus of the dental industry has gone from general concern for healthy dental management to being able to safely improve the look of a patient's smile for purely cosmetic reasons. It is estimated $2.75 billion dollars go into cosmetic dental work alone. Back in the BC era, dental work was meant to relieve pain. Today, people are pain free and wanting to whiten their smiles.

This history of dental work has come a long way and improved for the better. Implementing a family dental care program early for children helps prevent tooth decay and finding a dentist Chandler AZ trusts is key to a healthy white smile.

Drew Rossell