Interesting Dental History

on September 7, 2017

Even though you come to one of the most cutting-edge dental offices around – dentistry has not always been as state of the art or pain-free as it is today! Below are some of the interesting teeth tidbits that allow people to catch a glimpse of what dentistry was like centuries ago.

One of the first people in history to be recognized as a dentist was an ancient Egyptian known as Hesy-Ra. He lived around 2600 B.C. and served as a highly regarded official for the pharaoh. One of his many titles has a slightly ambiguous meaning, but is believed to translate to “Great One of the Teeth Physicians”. This gives an interesting glimpse that even back 4500 years ago, there was some distinction between regular physicians and dentists.

Fast forwarding a few thousand years, there were many different cultures that were making advancements in oral healthcare between 500 B.C. and 1000 A.D. The Greek philosopher Hippocrates wrote theories about whether tooth decay was a pre-disposition or inherited weakness of the tooth. In areas of ancient Islam, they have found a primitive version of the toothbrush called a Siwak; as well as a metal, horseshoe-shaped instrument they believe was used as one of the first tongue scrapers!

The greatest advancements in dentistry started over the last 500 years and have been growing ever since. This is when scientists and doctors really started to focalize on dentistry as a specialty and were able to publish information on the topic. This is also when modern day tools like the dental chair (Josiah Flagg – 1790), electric dental drill (George Green – 1868), and dental X-rays (Wilhelm Roentgen – 1896) were first invented. Another big milestone during this period is Lucy Hobbs graduating from Ohio College of Dental Surgery, becoming the first licensed female dentist in the US.

Currently, dentistry is growing at an exponential rate due to the rapid advancements in science and modern technology. It will be interesting to see what is developed over the next 5, 10, or even 50 years. But rest assured, here at Stephens Dentistry we are committed to the cutting edge technologies and techniques!


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