Dentistry: A History

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The earliest known evidence of dental work goes back as far as 12,000 BC. Archeologists have found an ancient tooth which contains remnants of a dental cleaning with flint tools.

The first written text that has been discovered that mentions dentistry, however, is dated thousands of years later in 5000 BC. This Sumerian manuscript cites “tooth worms” as the origin of dental decay. This theory wasn’t actually proved wrong until the 1700s.

In the Middle Ages in France, a group of “barbers” gathered. They didn’t just cut hair—they treated teeth and even various medical conditions. Eventually, the guild evolved into two groups. Barber-surgeons with education and training did the operations while lay surgeons helped with teeth cleanings and checkups.

In the 1700s, Pierre Fauchard, the Father of Modern Dentistry, wrote a book called “The Surgeon Dentist: A Treatise on Teeth,” which outlined the first comprehensive dental system. With this knowledge, dentistry began to grow and spread throughout the world, including the United States.

In 1840, the first dental college formed in Baltimore, Maryland. A few decades later, Colgate began producing toothpaste and toothbrushes. However, caring for teeth regularly didn’t really catch on in America until after World War II when U.S. soldiers brought their dental habits that they had learned.

Since then, new inventions and techniques have developed to make dental care better than ever. We encourage you to call Madison Dental Spa in Madison, Connecticut, at 203.245.5101 to schedule a visit with Dr. Moumen Almouzayn.