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Dentistry of the Past… Way, Way Past

added on: January 7, 2015

Dentistry of the pastDentistry of the past differs drastically from what you’ve become accustomed to at my dental office in Mill Creek. There are now a multitude of options available: comfortable routine cleanings, painless fillings, aesthetically enhancing cosmetic treatments, all to get and keep your smile healthy. However, while dentistry has been around since at least 7000 BC., the level of care was extremely different.

Back in the day, the link between oral and total body health was not yet recognized. Dental care only occurred when there was already a problem, not before. Because of the lack of scientific information available, many civilizations crafted urban legends to explain tooth pain and devised excruciating treatments.

Teeth Worms

In 5000 BC., the Sumerians believed teeth worms caused tooth pain. It was widely accepted that the worms bored tiny holes through teeth, thus causing the pain. Some primitive dentists mistook the actual tooth root for a worm and extracted it (talk about painful!). Belief in teeth worms lasted until the 1700s when it was proven untrue.

Drill Like an Egyptian

Egyptians learned a lot about the human body from their practice of mummification. They figured out where things were, and developed methods for how to heal various problems, including teeth and mouth problems. The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus provides a guide for minor dental work available to early Egyptians. The guide shows evidence of drilling cavities and pulling teeth.

The Birth of Modern Dentistry

It wasn’t until sometime between 1650 and 1800 that dentistry as we know it came to life. French physician Pierre Fauchard, often called The Father of Modern Dentistry, developed many of the dental treatments we now use. Dental filling rationale was his brainchild, he helped link sugar to tooth decay, and his work  justified opening the first dental college in 1840.

Although dentistry of the past is frightening, the dentistry we perform at my Mill Creek dental office continues to improve and evolve with breakthroughs  in dental technology and treatment options. If you’re ready to experience dental care that’s designed to keep you comfortable, pain free, and healthy, give us a call today.

Accepting patients from Mill Creek, Bothell, Everett, and surrounding areas.

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