The History of Dentistry

The history of dentistry has come a long way since man started thinking about oral care. Thankfully we have amazing dentists like Dr. Patrick Broome, DMD who provide the best gentle dentistry in Charlotte at the Charlotte Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, complete with a sedation option and a spa-like amenities.

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Ancient Dentistry

Dental concern goes all the way back to 5000 BC when Sumerians recorded that they believed that tooth worms created holes in their teeth and then buried themselves inside the tooth. Egyptians also referred to tooth diseases and toothache remedies. They even wrote on the tomb of a man named Hesy-Re as being “the greatest of those who deal with teeth.” Hesy-Re is the first person to be referenced as a dental practitioner.

Between 500-300 BC Aristotle and Hippocrates wrote about the eruption of teeth patterns, treating gum disease, using forceps to pull out bad teeth, and using wires to stabilize loose teeth and fractured jaws.

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The Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages dental work was actually done by barbers. They mostly just extracted bad teeth as this was only something they did on the side and not their actual profession. They used forceps as well and didn’t focus on oral care, just pulling teeth.

In 1530 Artzney Buchlein wrote a book called The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth which covered topics such as oral care, tooth extraction, drilling teeth, and even placing gold fillings.

The 18th and 19th Century

It wasn’t until the 18th Century that dentistry became a profession with the Father of Dentistry being the Frenchman Pierre Fauchard. During this time period, porcelain teeth were patented, the dental foot engine was invented, and a dental chair was created which consisted of a wooden chair, an adjustable headrest, and an arm extension to hold the dental tools.

In 1873, Colgate was the first to produce toothpaste in a jar and it wasn’t until 1885 that the first toothbrush was mass produced.


As you can see, dentistry has really changed over history. Oral procedures have become much less painful and dentists focus on preventative care to help you stay healthy. You can also find dentists that provide sedation, TVs, and comfortable chairs. Although many people still fear going to the dentist, we can be reassured that it will be a much better experience than it was in the ancient civilizations.

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