How did dentistry begin?

How did dentistry begin?
Highlights

There have been dentists for as long as there have been doctors! In fact, documents have been obtained from an ancient civilisation which gave 52 rules for the care of teeth, including how to bleach discolored teeth and how to prevent bad breath.

There have been dentists for as long as there have been doctors! In fact, documents have been obtained from an ancient civilisation which gave 52 rules for the care of teeth, including how to bleach discolored teeth and how to prevent bad breath.

In ancient Greece, about 2,500 years ago, there were “dentists” who extracted teeth! But they usually pulled out only loose teeth. Until about the year 1400, only loose teeth were extracted.

In Greece, children who were teething were given drugs to dull the pain. Cavities in the teeth were first filled during the Middle Ages. The fillings were made of wax and gum. Later on, metals particularly lead and gold were used. They were beaten into thin sheets, so they could be manipulated by the dentist to fit the cavity.

In 1498, a Chinese dentist developed a toothbrush for the royal family to use. In 1840, the first college for education of dentists was established, namely, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. This was the beginning of dentistry as a profession. Nowadays there are many colleges for dental surgery throughout the world.

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