History of Dentistry

A Little Dental History Insight From Your Truckee Pediatric Dentist


Many parents who visit our Truckee children’s dentistry office tell us how much dentistry has  changed since they were young. That’s why we’ve decided to take a quick trip through time to find out exactly how far dentistry has come. Below is a brief history of dentistry we think you’ll find find interesting.



Dentistry’s Earliest Known History


The earliest history of tooth-related problems dates back to 7000 BC when the Indus Valley Civilization shows evidence of treating the mouth for tooth decay. The first known method of treatment was done with a bow drill, which is a primitive tool used primarily for woodworking. Ouch!


Tooth Worms Were Blamed For Decay



Moving forward to 5000 BC, the Sumerians believed that tooth worms were the cause of dental decay. They actually believed that small worms moved from tooth to tooth, boring holes in the teeth while hiding out inside. There is even evidence that some doctors tried pulling out tooth nerves because they thought they were removing pesky tooth worms. It wasn’t until the 1700s that the tooth worm theory was proven false.


Tooth Extractions Were Performed By Barbers


During the Middle Ages, professionals performing tooth extractions were not medically trained individuals but rather barbers. The reason haircutters began pulling teeth is because the tools they used were similar to modern-day forceps. Imagine heading to your local barbershop for a trim and a tooth extraction. Yikes!

 The “Father Of Modern Dentistry”


A French physician named Pierre Fauchard is called the “Father of Modern Dentistry” because of all the improvements he made in the world of dentistry. After establishing his dental practice in Angers, France in 1700, Fauchard is credited with finding the link between sugar and tooth decay. He even recommended that people limit how much sugar they consume. Fauchard also invented the first braces once he discovered that teeth can be moved by applying pressure using metal wires and bands.


Modern Dentistry Was Ushered In During the 20th Century



During the 20th Century, great strides were being made which included things like developing the first modern dental crowns, formulating and marketing Novocain for pain-free dentistry, and adding fluoride to public water systems to help prevent decay. This is also when the first high-speed, air-driven dental drill was developed to increase treatment efficiency and improve patient comfort.


That Was Then, This Is Now



The modern era of dentistry we’re enjoying now is light years ahead of what dentistry used to be. Many procedures and treatments that used to be painful to endure and required several dental visits to complete, can now be done in a single, convenient and pain-free visit.


Contact Truckee Pediatric Dentistry Today!


Dr. Gustafsson and his professional team at Truckee Pediatric Dentistry are passionate about delivering gentle, technologically-advanced pediatric dentistry for children in a fun and caring atmosphere. If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Truckee to help your child achieve and maintain good oral health, we’d be thrilled if you’d choose us! Just call our office at (530) 550-9311 so we can help you set up an appointment time that’s convenient for you. We’re excited about meeting you and your child soon!

footer background image