Dentistry – Past, Present, and Future | Dentist Edgmont

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“Tooth worms” were once thought to cause tooth decay, according to a Sumerian text from around 5,000 B.C.E. Thankfully, the dental field has come a long way since then. Here’s how dentistry has evolved into the safe, comfortable, and beneficial practice we know today.

In the Beginning

Did you know that ancient Egyptians had specialized doctors for teeth? Evidence suggests that the Chinese used acupuncture to treat tooth pain as early as 2700 B.C.E. Additionally, in 500 B.C.E., Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about treating teeth and oral diseases using sterilization procedures and red-hot wires. They also used these wires to stabilize jaw fractures and bind loose teeth.

The Visionary Thoughts of the 1600s-1700s

The 1600s and 1700s were a period of significant innovation in dentistry. In 1695, Charles Allen published the first English dental textbook, The Operator of Teeth. In it, he recommended a homemade toothpaste made from powdered coal, rose water, and “dragon’s blood” to keep teeth clean. He also suggested using dog’s teeth for transplants and mentioned wisdom teeth.

In the 18th century, Pierre Fauchard’s book The Surgeon Dentist revolutionized dentistry. He identified sugar as a cause of dental caries (cavities), proposed braces for teeth correction, and introduced the concept of a dentist’s chair light, describing dentistry as a modern profession.

The Progressive 1800s

The 1800s saw significant discoveries and inventions in dentistry. In 1816, Auguste Taveau created the first dental fillings from silver coins and mercury. In 1840, Horace Wells demonstrated the use of nitrous oxide for sedation, and Thomas Morton employed ether anesthesia for surgery. That same year, Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris opened the first dental school, invented the modern Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, and founded the first dental society. By the late 1800s, porcelain inlays, the first mechanized dental drill, and the toothpaste tube had all been invented.

Scientific Advancements of the 1900s

The 1900s brought remarkable advancements in dentistry. The invention of electricity led to electric drills. In 1907, a “lost wax” casting machine for precision case fillings was invented, and Novocain was introduced to U.S. dental offices. In 1955, Michael Buonocore described tooth bonding to repair cracked enamel. Later, the first fully-reclining dental chair was introduced, enhancing comfort for patients and dentists. By the 1990s, “invisible” braces and at-home tooth bleaching systems were available.

What Will the Future of Dentistry Hold?

Today, dental professionals are exploring the connections between oral health and overall health. Researchers are investigating gene-mediated therapeutics to alter the genetic structure of teeth, increasing their resistance to decay. There is also potential to grow new tooth structures around weakened enamel. At Smileform Dentistry, we are committed to adopting the most effective modern technologies as they emerge.

Experience the benefits of modern dentistry. Schedule your visit to Smileform Dentistry and discover how our advanced dental care can enhance your health and well-being. If you’re looking for a dentist in Edgmont, contact us today!

Smileform Dentistry of Edgmont
Phone: 267-702-0155
4753 West Chester Pike
Newtown Square, PA 19073

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