Monday, 14 September 2015

The Development of Dentistry

Modern dentistry is owed not to the many technologies that we have today, but to all of the men and women who laid down the foundation for it in the past. Though there is evidence of dental work being practiced as early as 7000 BC and beyond, it wasn’t until the 1600s that a science was developed to help create modern dentistry. 

Dr Leslie Griesdorf

One of the earliest contributions of dentistry is owed to an English physician by the name of Thomas Browne. He wrote a book in which he observed that many Egyptian mummies did not have signs of tooth decay, indicating some kind of dental prosthetics were used. This would inspire some prosthetic work to be done in Europe as well. 

Strides in modern dentistry did not happen until the appearance of a French surgeon by the name of Pierre Fauchard. Today Fauchard is known as the “father of modern dentistry”. This is because despite the crude and primitive tools he had at his disposal during the 17th century, he still managed to become a highly skilled and respected surgeon who would adapt those primitive tools in order to make better dental instruments. This usually included improvising and using tools from jewelers and watchmakers for more precise work. Fauchard also introduced the use of dental fillings for cavities, as well as make the correct claim that acids in sugar were a leading cause of dental decay. He also created many dental prosthetics and suggested that tumors could be caused by late stages of tooth decay.

Dr Leslie Griesdorf is a professional dentist who is fascinated by the history surrounding the field.