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Dental Work: From Ancient Egyptians To Today



The roots of dentistry extend back to Ancient Egypt. There is also evidence that the people in the Indus Valley Civilization in Pakistan practiced dentistry as far back as 7,000 BC. The practitioners used makeshift drills to cure tooth problems. The writers of a Sumerian text from the year 5,000 BC cited worms as the cause of dental decay. The Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Egyptian cultures also believed in dental worms. This article will discuss dental practices from ancient Egyptian times to the present.

Ancient Egypt

Archaeologists discovered incredibly detailed dental work done on a mummy in Egypt that dates back to 2000 BC. There is intricate gold work around the teeth. The mummy has two false teeth with holes in them. The practitioner used wires to string through the cavities and around the neighboring teeth. They also found that the ancients used linen dipped in medicine as a filling in the largest and most painful cavities. It might have been a barrier that prevented food particles from getting into the cavity.

Middle Ages

During the early middle ages, monks in Europe practiced dentistry. They were the most educated class at the time. In 1163 the church council banned monks from practicing because it involved bleeding. Barbers took over because they had acted as aids when the monks treated patients. The barbers were already accustomed to using knives and razors.

The 18th Century

The world saw major advances in dentistry in the 1700s. France became the epicenter of treatments. Historians believe that a French physician named Pierre Fauchard started the science as we know it today. He published The Surgeon Dentist in 1723. It was a detailed description of a comprehensive system of caring for and treating the teeth.

The 19th Century

An important development occurred when Henry Morton introduced ether as anesthesia in 1846. A couple of decades later George Fellows invented the clockwork dental drill in and then Dr. George Green invented an electric dental drill in 1865. Dentists learned the trade through apprenticeships, but in 1860 The Royal College of Surgeons in Britain introduced the official Surgeons License in Dental Surgery. A registry of the professionally trained dentists was set up in 1879.

Present Day Dentistry

Currently, well-trained dentists offer several types of dental services. The technology has advanced significantly and less pain and discomfort are involved in procedures. Dentists and Dental Hygienists remove soft and hard deposits from teeth via laser and teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene. Some of the options that are available include dentures, metal braces, invisible braces, treatment for gum diseases, veneers, and porcelain fillings. Dentists recommend that people have their teeth cleaned every six months and buy products such as floss and antiseptic mouth wash.

The nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association are:

1. Public Health dentistry.

2. Endodontic

3.Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

4. Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology.

5. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

6. Orthodontics.

7. Pediatric Dentistry.

8. Periodontics.

9. General dentistry.

People who receive adequate dental care can expect to keep their teeth for most of their life.