The History of Dentistry

The History of Dentistry

While certain dental technology is relatively modern, dentistry as a science has a deep, rich history dating back thousands of years, making it as old as many other medical professions. Here’s a little information about the history of dentistry that will make you appreciate modern dental care more!

Early Dentistry

Mentions of tooth decay and other dental issues can be found in texts dating as far back as 5000 BCE. The very first recognized dentist was an Egyptian scribe named Hesy-Re. The ancient Egyptians had their own system for treating issues of the teeth and kept a record of it on papyrus. While they and other ancient peoples had an understanding of dental problems, they couldn’t be sure what caused them.

Later on, Hippocrates and even Aristotle wrote about how to treat diseases of the tooth, but there wasn’t a textbook on dentistry available until the year 1530. That book was The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth by Artzney Buchlein, of Germany. This would serve as the beginnings of the study of dentistry as we know it.

The Beginnings of Modern Dentistry

Dentistry saw a bit of a boom beginning in the 1700s. A French doctor named Pierre Fauchard wrote The Surgeon Dentist, a book detailing many now-common dental services such as dental fillings, tooth extraction, and the theory that sugar was the culprit behind tooth decay.

In 1840, the first school of dentistry was opened: The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. This gave rise to the formation of the American Dental Association in 1867, and from there on, dentistry was a regulated medical practice in the United States. Colgate manufactured its first toothpaste in 1873, and the rest is history!

Dentistry has come a long way from the time of the ancient Egyptians. Today, treating your teeth is a breeze! If you’re thinking about making a dental appointment, give Bella Smiles Cosmetic and Family Dentistry a call at 832-930-7858. Our friendly staff would be happy to fit you in for an appointment that works with your schedule.