Most people think of dentistry as a modern medical practice. Certainly, the general dentistry services to preserve oral health and restorative dentistry treatments to repair dental damage that are offered at Forney Family Dentistry and Orthodontics today were not around hundreds of years ago.
While it is true that dental patients today benefit from advanced dental techniques that weren’t available even a few decades ago, the practice of dentistry itself has been around for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations. Of course, over the years, dentistry has undergone a lot of changes. Here, we take a look at the history of dentistry that has shaped dental care for our Forney, TX patients today.
Dentistry in Ancient Times
The hygiene practices of ancient civilizations were significantly different compared to ours today. Although baths and showers may not have been a frequent practice thousands of years ago, there is a lot of evidence to show that citizens of ancient civilizations did put effort into cleanliness and caring for their teeth.
Some of the most notable examples of dentistry in ancient civilizations include a Sumerian text from 5000 BC that notes tooth worms as the cause of tooth decay, Egyptian texts from 2700 BC mention a doctor who specializes in caring for the teeth, and Greek writings from 1300 BC discuss the extraction of diseased teeth. Although there is not a lot of information regarding the exact dental practices used in these times, it is clear that the health of the teeth has long been an interest.
Dentistry in the Middle Ages
In the middle ages, dental care was focused primarily on treating tooth pain and eliminating dental diseases, rather than preventing them. Oddly enough, the professionals who most often offered dental care in the middle ages were barbers. Barbers offered dental extraction for teeth that were causing oral pain. They used dental tools called dental pelicans or dental keys to remove teeth. Although these dental tools were very similar to modern dental forceps, dental practices in the middle ages were still far from the dental care we know today.
The Father of Modern Dentistry
Many of the dental practices that are still around today can be traced back to the 1700s. During this time, French physician Pierre Fauchard introduced dental concepts that are largely responsible for what we know as modern dentistry.
Fauchard was the first to discover that it is acids and sugars (and not tooth worms) that are primarily responsible for dental decay. Fauchard also introduced the idea that dental fillings could be used to treat teeth damaged by decay. Once these practices were introduced, they continued to evolve and thrive, getting us to the superior dental care that patients benefit from today.
Dental Care Today
Dental patients today are fortunate to receive dental care that is based on a rich history of knowledge, proven dental practices, and technological advances that make dental care safe, comfortable, and more convenient than ever. At Forney Family Dentistry and Orthodontics, we stay abreast of all the latest dental techniques and provide our patients with top-quality dental care. We offer a comprehensive range of general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry treatments to ensure that all our patients are able to enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile.
Professional dental care benefits the strength, health, and beauty of the smile. If you would like to learn more about the wide range of dental services offered at Forney Family Dentistry and Orthodontics, and how they can help you achieve and maintain your ideal smile, contact us at your earliest convenience.