Dental Care through Time

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Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions. Dental care has changed drastically over the years, with most scientific developments occurring in the last few centuries. Dr. Packard, Dr. Packard, and our team at Creekside Dental are excited to explore the history of dentistry with you.

The first text found documenting dentistry dates back to 5000 BC. Sumerians wrote that “tooth worms” cause tooth decay. This idea wasn’t disproven until the 1700s. Hesy-Re, an Egyptian scribe, is the first documented dentist. His tomb, which dates back to 2600 BC, has an inscription that includes the title: “the greatest of those who deal with teeth, and of physicians.” Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about dentistry from 500 to 300 BC. Their written works included the eruption pattern of teeth, how to treat teeth and gum disease, how to extract teeth with forceps, and how to use wires to stabilize loose teeth or fractured jaws.

Not much is known about dentistry before the 1700s. However, we know that starting in 1210, tooth extractions were performed by lay barbers. In Germany in 1530, the first book entirely devoted to dentistry, The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth, was published.

In 1723, the first book describing a comprehensive system for the practice of dentistry, The Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise of Teeth, was published by a French surgeon named Pierre Fauchard. Fauchard was credited as the Father of Modern Dentistry.

1840 marked the founding of the first dental school, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, by Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris. In 1859, twenty-six dentists met at Niagara Falls, New York, and formed the American Dental Association. The X-ray was discovered in 1895 by German physicist, Wilhelm Roentgen.

Many new technologies and techniques were discovered in the 1900s, including Novocain. In 1960, lasers were developed and began to be used for soft tissue procedures, like gum disease treatment. The development of tooth-colored restorative materials led to an era of aesthetic dentistry.

We welcome you to contact our office today to learn more about dentistry in Yakima, Washington, and to schedule your next visit with our dentists.