History of Dentistry | Blog

Upon probing through the world’s dental history I’ve come across some interesting items I wanted to share with all of you. It is recorded evidence that people were concerned about the appearance and health of their teeth dating back 4,000 years. It has also been recorded that toothbrushes existed before 600AD! Amazing, fun and mysterious dental facts are reported below.

The Operator for Teeth written by Charles Allen in 1865, was the first dental book ever published. There are only two copies that still exist, one resides in the library of the College of Dentistry at New York University, the other is in York Minister

• Nitrous oxide was first performed as an anesthetic on December 11, 1844. Dr. Horace Wells was the first dentist to use it.

• Over the centuries, dentists have used all different types of items to fill teeth.

Some included are: Stone chips, gum, metals, cork, turpentine resin, gold foil and lead.

Dental cement made of bake porcelain was developed by B. Wood in 1862

• Lucy Hobbs was the first women ever to graduate dental school in 1864. She opened up her first practice in Iowa, from there another practice in Chicago. Her dental career was considered very successful.

• There is evidence that suggests braces were used to correct teeth in ancient times. Braces first appeared in recorded history around 2022BC. Scholars like Socrates and Aristotle discussed the best way to correct crooked teeth back around 400-300BC.

• Dental Implants are not just a part of modern dental technology. The Mayans were using endosseous implants back in 600AD. The evidence supporting this was unearthed by Archaeologists in Honduras in 1939.

• George Washington’s dentures were designed by the first native born dentist John Greenwood. The dentures were made out of Hippopotamus tusks. The invoice sent to Washington for payment is dated back to 1799.