Dentistry has come a long way in the scientific knowledge and technology that keeps our mouths healthy. You may think dentistry started in modern times, however, early dentistry dates back to ancient times.
In the early days of dentistry, there was no such thing as dentists and many people took it upon themselves to solve what ailed them. Very basic dental tools made of stone are still being found today.
People began taking dental care more seriously when humans stopped being hunter-gathers and transitioned to farming for food. Early crops consisted of mostly grains. Grains negatively impacted the teeth of many ancient people because of the starch they contained.
During this time, there is evidence that dental fillings were created. Though modern fillings are made of sturdy composite or resin, people began making fillings out of beeswax. As you might expect, these fillings were very ineffective and needed frequent replacement.
Ancient dentistry became more scientifically based during the early years of the Greeks. The Greeks often hypothesized different things caused tooth decay. Some findings show that they tried to understand gum disease and how to prevent tooth decay, but many of their methods were ineffective. They were also the first to make modern tools for tooth extractions. Most of these tools resemble modern day forceps.
How Modern Dentistry Started
Modern dentistry started with a French surgeon named Pierre Fauchard around the late 17th century. He wrote several books about the art of dentistry, however, tools at the time were still limited. He wrote about how to transform common watchmaking and jewelers’ tools into dental tools. He was also the first person to write about fillings as a treatment for cavities.
Our dentistry prides itself on knowing all things about teeth. If you have any more questions about dentistry, please call our office. We may even be able to talk to you at your next visit about the history of dentistry!