What Did People Do Before the Dentist?

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It’s hard to think about how people kept their teeth clean and healthy before the invention of all of the tools and machinery that you see in your dentist’s office today. So how exactly did people do it?

Ancient Dentistry

Historical accounts have left us with a few clues of what ancient Etruscans, Egyptians, and Greeks did when they needed to see a dentist.

Etruscans studied the art of dental implants by using other human and animal teeth as replacements and keeping them in place with gold bands around the teeth.

Over the course of about 1,500 years, Egyptians went from believing that there were no cures for issues concerning teeth to developing procedures to remove cavities and problem teeth. They also developed medications to ease the pain during these procedures. While there is no historical evidence that Egyptians used dentures or any other tooth replacement, some historians believe that it is unlikely that they didn’t.

The Greeks had a more extreme way of dealing with cavities—they simply didn’t! Many people would stuff cloth around the infected areas to prevent them from being contaminated, but they would do little else to ease the pain.

Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

Ancient cultures often used sticks to clean the surface of their teeth. Some even used early prototypes of toothbrushes with animal hair as bristles.

They also used powders on their teeth before the invention of toothpaste. Tooth powder ingredients included bones, eggshells, and chalk — very different from the mint-flavored pastes that we use today!

The Birth of Modern Dentistry

A French physician named Pierre Fauchard (1678-1761) is credited with inventing modern dentistry techniques. Although there was old literature on dental health and care during Fauchard’s time, dentists still didn’t exist (barbers usually were the ones who removed teeth!). Because of this, he decided to do some of his own comprehensive research in the field of dentistry. The result was his book Le Chirurgien Dentiste, or, The Surgical Dentist. His findings and techniques paved the way for modern dentistry. The rest is history!

Dentistry Today

Dublin Corners Dental is a perfect example of a modern dental office. We offer state-of-the-art dental implants and cosmetic dentistry all in a comfortable, serene, and beautiful office. It is our goal to make sure you are in the most caring hands possible. Contact us today and experience the difference.

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