Dentistry throughout the Ages

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The dental profession may be older than you believe. In fact, archeologists discovered a 14,000 year old ancient infected tooth that contained remnants of a dental cleaning with flint tools.

The first written text we know that mentions dentistry is from 5000 BC; a Sumerian manuscript describes “tooth worms” as the origin of dental decay. Believe it or not, this theory wasn’t really proven false until the 1700s.

In France in the middle ages, the first organization of dentists gathered. They called themselves by a different name however, and they did more than dentistry. These men performed a unique combination of teeth treatments, medical treatments and haircuts. They called themselves barbers. Eventually, the guild evolved into two groups. Barber surgeons with education and training performed complex operations, while lay surgeons helped with more routine services.

In the 1700s, Pierre Fauchard, a Frenchman often called the Father of Modern Dentistry, wrote a book called “The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on Teeth”. It provided the first ever comprehensive dental system. Dentistry began to spread in popularity throughout other parts of the world, including the United States.

In 1840 the first dental college opened in Baltimore, Maryland. Not long after that, in 1873, Colgate began mass producing toothpaste and toothbrushes. However, mass education about the importance of taking care of one’s teeth did not really become common knowledge until after World War II, when American soldiers brought their knowledge of oral health care back to their home towns.

In the past century, technology, medicine and other innovations have helped dental work become more aesthetic, quicker and more comfortable than ever before. To sample this, you can call Henry K. Danziger DDS in Naugatuck, Connecticut at 203.729.0563 to set up an appointment with Dr. Henry Danziger.