Ancient Writers on Dentistry

August 29th, 2018 by

dentist in Gilbert

You can be very glad you’re living in modern times. Incredible technological advances have given today’s dentists the tools and procedures for resolving almost any kind of tooth or gum issue. At our Lifetime Family dentist office in Gilbert AZ, we’re grateful for current practices like needle-free dental care and dental sealants.These and other technologies help give you quality, cutting-edge care with the utmost of comfort and ease. But dental care wasn’t always so refined. Take, for instance, a few of these writings from ancient history.

Early Writings about Teeth

Aristotle (born circa 384 B.C.) wrote that men have more teeth than women. Though he got that fact wrong, he did understand that teeth experience decay and prescribed wiring up loose teeth, or pulling infected teeth.

Hippocrates, who is called the Father of Medicine (460–375 B.C.), explained that tooth decay was the result of food that got between the teeth. His answer was to pull teeth that were loose or decayed.

At least Aristotle and Hippocrates understood tooth decay to an extent, and also gum disease. They were much more accurate than the ancient Egyptians, whose superstitious beliefs suggested holding half of a still-warm, dead mouse to an aching tooth!

Quite a few centuries later, the first (known) book to be written about dental issues was published. The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth was penned by Artzney Buchlein. Printed in Germany in 1530, it was written for barbers and surgeons. It covered topics like, “Oral hygiene, tooth extraction, drilling teeth, and placement of gold fillings.” Why was it written for barbers, you ask? Because they had razors that were indispensable to their trade. And those razors gave them the ability to do surgery, including anything from tooth extractions to amputations. Yes, we can be thankful for today’s medicine and dentistry techniques!

The Father of Modern Dentistry

The next known book on dentistry was written by Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon who has been dubbed the Father of Modern Dentistry. He published The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth, in 1723. Monsieur Fauchard wrote about a comprehensive system of treating and caring for teeth. He was the first person to suggest filling cavities, and he also wrote about creating a dental prosthesis for a missing tooth. He also understood that the acids that cause tooth decay were formed from sugar. With relatively accurate and thorough writings on the subject of dentistry, it makes sense that Mr. Fauchard has been called the father of modern dentistry.

What Will The Future Hold?

Fast-forward a few hundred years from now, and you can imagine what blog post writers will be quoting about the dentistry techniques of 2018. For example, there are currently studies being done with regards to using stem cells to regrow entire teeth. But that is a topic of discussion for another blog post!

If you’re new to the Gilbert area and you’re looking for a dentist, we invite you to contact our Lifetime Family Dental—modern, technologically advanced, up-to-date—dentist office in Gilbert, AZ. Whether you’re looking for a dental restoration, or you’d like to explore our cosmetic services, we’re here to give you the best care possible. And we promise, the only barbers that frequent our office are our patients.

 

Images used under Creative Commons License (Commercial Use) (8/29/18) Public Domain, Wikimedia