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The Influence of the History of Dentistry

By drfrey on December 14, 2016


An illustration of a tooth with a question markAt the Smile Center, we pride ourselves on our advanced restorative dentistry techniques. These procedures help our patients achieve and maintain improved oral health with greater functionality. In addition to improved health and function, these procedures can also improve the aesthetics of our patients’ smiles. The vast and surprising history of dentistry has influenced our dentists at the Smile Center in Virginia Beach, VA.

A Brief History of Dentistry

  • 3000 BC: First reference to dentistry
  • 2600 BC: Egyptian scribe referred to as dental practitioner
  • 500-300 BC: Writings by Hippocrates and Aristotle on dental health and dentistry
  • 200 AD: First use of gold for dental prosthetics
  • Middle Ages: First use of metal amalgam for dental fillings in China
  • 1530: First book dedicated solely to dentistry is published in Germany
  • 1728: First comprehensive book on the practice of dentistry published by Pierre Fauchard, known as the “Father of Modern Dentistry”
  • 1760: First dentist arrives and begins practicing in the United States
  • 1776: Paul Revere uses post-mortem dental forensics to identify remains of a friend
  • Late 18th Century: Shift toward focus on aesthetics leads to suggestion of white enamel on gold fillings for natural look and patent of porcelain teeth
  • Mid 19th Century: Denture base is created and patented; popularity of porcelain teeth and amalgam fillings rise; use of ether anesthesia; dental x-rays
  • 1841: Alabama is the first state to set forth regulations for dental practitioners
  • 1900s: Nylon bristles for toothbrushes invented; tap water is fluoridated; dental bonding with resin is developed; toothpastes become fluoridated; laser treatments grow in popularity; electric toothbrush invented; teeth-whitening methods become popular

How History Has Influenced Modern Dental Practices

As you can see, concerns with dental health date back much farther than you might have thought. The progression of the dental profession has led to countless advancements in dentistry. Dental treatments have progressively become more comfortable with the use of various forms of anesthesia. Over the years, restorative treatments have trended toward more natural appearances as well.

While restoring health and functionality has always been a top priority in dentistry, the appearance of our teeth has grown in importance as well. Thanks to previous dentists who suggested white enamel for fillings and porcelain teeth, we now have natural tooth-colored fillings. We also offer a wide range of cosmetic and restorative procedures that use porcelain, such as crowns and bridges, as well as veneers.

With the numerous advancements in dental technology, procedures are shorter and more comfortable than ever. We also have a better understanding of oral health and the effects complications can have on your physical health. Gum disease, for example, can lead to more serious conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Understanding this correlation between oral and physical health allows us to provide more comprehensive preventive and restorative treatment for our patients.

Schedule an Appointment at the Smile Center Today

Whether you need a simple cleaning and exam or you are suffering from more serious complications like tooth decay or gum disease, our skilled dentists can help. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.

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