1. Blog
  2. dental floss
  3. Historical milestones in dentistry

Historical milestones in dentistry

Historical review of the most critical dates in dentistry. 

Historical milestones in dentistry
Talking about milestones in any activity is a must and does not always coincide with the opinion of everyone, not even the majority. It is natural to reward the closest facts, those that most directly affect us today, and the appearance of the first computer in the middle of the 20th century was valued more than the invention of the wheel 3,500 years ago or the air conditioning invented just at the beginning of the 20th century more than the discovery of fire 800,000 years ago. The milestones seem to be more grandiose when they are close in time.

Dentistry is no stranger to this difficult delimitation of the most remarkable events in the evolution of dental technology. However, in the following lines, an attempt is made to make a chronological selection according to how many events related to the oral have occurred over the centuries.

  • 7000 B.C. B.Cistani stone age cultures in Baluchistan ("Indo Culture") use arched drills with milling cutters of flint to remove decayed tooth substance.
  • 5000 BC Iraq. A Sumerian text describes " tooth worms" as the cause of tooth decay. This may be the first observation of the dental pulp.
  • 2700 B.C. B.Cna Acupuncture is used to treat dental pain.
  • 2660 BC, Egypt The tomb of the Third Dynasty of Hey-Ra, described as "the largest of those who deal with teeth and the doctors," and the graves of three other dental specialists of the Fifth Dynasty, all in Saqqara, they reveal early specialization.
  • 1750 BC Mesopotamia The Law 200 of the famous Code of Hammurabi states, "if anyone breaks the tooth of an equal, his tooth is also broken."
  • 1700-1550 BC Egypt The Ebers Papyrus, a text 21 meters long, extensively describes the knowledge and treatments for the dental diseases of the time. 
  • 700 BC Myanmar Teeth found in the Halin area show sheet fillings of gold, probably made for cultural reasons or ceremonial.
  • 600 BC - 400 AD Italy/Europe, The Etruscans, and Romans, became experts in restorative dentistry by making gold crowns and fixed bridges. As a result, complete and partial dentures are not uncommon. 
  • 500 BC China/India Toothpaste recipes are described.
  • 450 BC, India Invented the process of crystallizing sugar cane juice.
  • 450 BC, Italy Roman law forbids the placing of gold in tombs, except for the gold of teeth. Instead, the bones, shells of eggs,s, and oyster shells mixed with honey are used to clean the teeth. Aristocrats employ slaves to clean their teeth.
  • 460-322 BC Greece The philosopher and scientist Hippocrates describes saliva and nutrition as the factors causing tooth decay, contradicting the predominant belief that tooth worms were responsible. Aristotle writes about dentistry, including the pattern of tooth eruption, treatment of caries and periodontal disease, forceps tooth extraction, and the use of metal wires to stabilize teeth and fractures of the jaw. However, he mistakenly believes that beings like men, humans, sheep, goats, and pigs have more teeth than females.
  • 50-25 BC ItB.C.y The Roman medical writer Aulus Cornelius Celsius summarizes contemporary medical and writes about oral hygiene, stabilization of missing teeth, treatment of dental pain, and tooth replacement. It forms the necessary care after the extraction and describes the method of repositioning jaw dislocations, which is still used today. 174 BC, Italy Galen, the Emperor's personal physician Marcos Aurelio compiles all the knowledge and his research about medicine, including oral diseases. He says, "soon, there will be more mediums. The body parts and each disease will have its own doctor." 
  • 650 Indian Indian author Vagbhata describes 75 oral diseases.
  • 500-1000 Europe During the Middle Ages, medicine, surgery, and dentistry were generally practiced by monks with the best education. While I know it has lost consciousness of the Roman and Greek era, new folk medicine is emerging with many practices dubious, like sangria.
  • 963-1013 Spain Abù I-Qàsim (Abulcasis), a surgeon Spanish Arabic recovers the world's dental knowledge Greco-Roman and editions of his work are widely circulated in Europe, with some fine illustrations of dental instruments for scaling, pulp characterization, or extraction.
  • 980-1037 Iran/Uzbekistan The physician and philosopher Ibn Sinà, also known as Avicenna, describes the medical knowledge of the time, including diseases and their treatment. His writings influenced the thinking of European doctors during the Age Medium.
  • 1258 France The Barbers' Guild is established. The Barbers finally evolve into two groups: those who are educated and trained to perform surgical operations and barber-surgeons, who perform services of more routine hygiene, including shaving, bleeding, and the extraction of the tooth.
  • 1280 China Medicine is divided into 13 specialties, including dentistry.
  • 1400 France A series of royal decrees prohibit barbers practice all surgical procedures except bleeding, cupping, leeching, and extracting teeth
  • 1498 China The first toothbrush with bristles is described.
  • 1500 Caribbean, The first sugar cane plantations are established in the new colonies, particularly in The Canary Islands and the West Indies.
  • 1530 Germany The first book dedicated to dentistry was published, The Little Medical Book of all Diseases and Anomalies of the teeth. Includes topics such as oral hygiene, tooth extraction, the grinding of the tooth, and the placement of gold fillings. It is becoming the reference text for more than 200 years. The last edition was published in 1756
  • 1533-1603 England Queen Elizabeth I filled the gaps in your teeth to improve your appearance in public.
  • 1575 France Ambroise Paré, known as the Father of Surgery, publishes his Complete Works, which includes practical information about surgery, such as tooth extraction, treatment of caries, and jaw fractures. He also performed the first cleft lip surgery.
  • 1664 onwards U.K./ItU.K.U.K.Netherlands In Oxford and London in the new Royal Society, the innervation of the teeth and jaw for Willis, while they go, Leeuwenhoek describes the microscopic appearance of the teeth and agents living in dental calculus and Malpighi and others represent the capillaries, bringing actual science to dentistry. Van Leeuwenhoek identifies some "worms of the tooth" as cheese mites.
  • 1685 UK Charles Allen publishes his book The Operator, which will go through three editions and incorporate the recent findings and his experience in the dental field, laying the scientific foundations of dentistry in the U.K
  • U.K. U.K87 U.K.nce, King Louis XIV underwent extraction of an upper molar resulting in a fractured jaw and perforation of the maxillary sinus. Subsequent infection and other treatments leave the king without upper teeth for the rest of his life.
  • 1690 United States Sugar cane cultivation begins.
  • 1728 France The Dentist Pierre Fauchard, considered the father of modern dentistry, describes in his book Le Chirurgien Dentiste, ou Traité des Dents un comprehensive system for dentistry practice, including the basic oral anatomy and function, operational and restoration techniques, and the construction of the teeth. It also opposes the contemporary belief in tooth worms as the cause of tooth decay. Unfortunately, his work was translated into English only in 1946.
  • 1746 France Claude Mouton describes a gold crown with a post to be retained in the root canal.
  • 1756 Germany Philipp Pfaff, the dentist to the King of Prussia Federico II, introduced Paris to the use of wax and plaster to make an impression. This dramatically improves the placement of dentures. Like Pierre Fauchard, he sets standards for dental care and practices to new levels of dentistry.
  • 1760 onwards France/UK/USA Dentists begin to make school visits and are designated to orphanages and public health institutions. They are listed as "dentists" or "dentists" in public records and directories.
  • 1768 UK Thomas Beardmore points to the precise relationship between sugar, eating sweet things, and tooth decay.
  • 1771 UK John Hunter's book, Natural History of the Human Tooth H, along with A Practical Treatise on the Diseases of the Tooth. An experiment appears (incorrectly) to validate the dental transplant. This practice, supported by Fauchard, had been condemned by Allen in 1685 as a technique to "undress a Saint for dress another" and by Pfaff in 1756 and Beardmore in 1768 by the danger of disease transmission, especially venereal. 
  • 1776 United States In one of the first known cases of post-mortem forensic dentistry, Paul Revere, a dentist and patriot of the War of Independence, confirms the death of his friend by identifying the bridge he had built for him.
  • 1776 UK Joseph Priestley synthesizes nitrous oxide, formerly known as laughing gas. Since 1840 its narcotic properties and pain reducers have been used mainly by dentists and surgeons.
  • 1780 UK William Addis begins the almost mass production of the modern toothbrush.
  • 1783 UK Robert Woofendale relates sugar consumption to tooth decay in the second dentition of children.
  • 1790 United States One of George Washington's dentists, John Greenwood, built the first known standing dental equipment, adapting the spinning wheel foot of his mother's machine to spin a drill. 
  • 1790 United States Josiah Flagg, a dentist, built the first chair for dental patients.
  • 1791 France Nicolas Dubois de Chemant receives the first patent for ceramic teeth.
  • 1795 United States Samuel Thomas von Soemmering reports increased lip cancer in pipe smokers.
  • 1815 United States Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans, is credited as the inventor of modern dental floss (with natural silk), although they have been found in some prehistoric sites. 
  • 1815 UK Teeth from the 50,000 soldiers killed in the battle of Waterloo are extracted and used to make dentures, known as "Waterloo teeth." se of ceramic teeth and other materials started to be very commonly extracted, and human teeth were used until 1860 to make dentures.
  • 1817-21 UK/USA Levi Lanza Parmly, walking away from traditional learning, announces its Dental Institution in London for men and women who wish to train as young dentists.
  • In 1832 United States, James Snell invented the first dental recliner.
  • 1839 United States The American Journal of Dental Science came out as the first dental magazine in the world. 
  • 1839 United States Based on a recent German discovery, Charles Goodyear developed the vulcanized rubber, a material that allows for cheaper and better fitting prostheses. This material was replaced by acrylic resin in the 20th century.
  • 1839 United States The first dental school, the Baltimore School of Dental Surgery, opened its doors. Other dental schools followed in Berlin in 1855, London in 1858, Paris in 1880, Geneva in 1881, Stockholm in 1888, and Vienna in 1890.
  • 1840 United States The American Society of Dental Surgeons, the first dental society.  
  • 1841 UK John Tomes publishes the principles of anatomical design for forceps. Surgical instruments based on this concept are still in use today.
  • 1846 France/USA The folding tube, made of lead or tin, was invented in both countries. However, it was only in 1896 that the sale of toothpaste in folding tubes began in the United States and Germany.
  • 1847 Hungary Ignaz Semmelweiss identifies the risk of cross-infection between patients. 
  • 1866 United States Lucy Beaman Hobbs, graduate of the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, became the first woman in the world to get a diploma in dentistry.
  • 1870 Japan The practice of blackening women's teeth in class is a sign of marital fidelity and has been practiced since the 4th century B.C.; iB.C.B.C.forbidden. Some protection against caries was obtained from this technique. 
  • 1872 United States, The first dental pedal engine, manufactured by James B. Morrison, was sold at a meeting in Binghamton, New York. The cheap tool Morrison's machining uses dental burs with sufficient speed to cut enamel and dentin, soft and quickly, revolutionizing the practice of dentistry.
  • 1873 United States Colgate massively produced jarred toothpaste.
  • 1874 UK The British Government, under its Prime Minister Gladstone, decides to abolish taxes on sugar to make it more affordable for the whole population
  • 1875 United States The first electric dental lathe was patented by George Green
  • 1884 Austria The first local anesthetic used in dentistry, cocaine, was introduced by ophthalmologist Carl Koller.
  • 1890 Germany The American scientist Willoughby Miller established the microbiological basis of dental caries and started the discussion of the "focal infection." describing the bacteria in the dental pulp. The belief in dental sources of infection responsible for diseases in other parts of the body reaches peak levels in the decade from 1920. Still, it's the subject of analytical research, particularly concerning the periodontal disease.
  • 1895 UK Lilian Lindsay becomes the first woman to obtain her license to practice as a British (LDS).
  • 1896 Germany/USA Wilhelm Roentgen, physicist, discovered the X-rays. The first x-ray images of jawbone teeth are taken in Germany three months later. In the United States, C. Edmond Kells takes X-rays with x-rays eight months later. Unfortunately, he develops recurrent cancer in his fingers and hands due to constant radiation exposure. After suffering 42 operations that would end with the amputation of the hand, he decided to commit suicide in 1928.
  • 1898 United States Johnson & Johnson was the first company to patent dental floss.
  • 1899 United States Edward Angle classifies the different types of malocclusions. Their classification still follows using.
  • 1900 France The FDI World Dental Federation was born in Paris, created by French dentist Charles Godon.
  • 1901 France, The FDI Public Dental Hygiene Commission, is established.
  • 1903 United States Charles Land produced the porcelain crown jacket.
  • 1905 Germany Alfred Einhorn, chemist, formulated the local anesthetic procaine, later marketed as Novocaine and commonly used in dentistry
  • 1905 United States Irene Newman became the first dental hygienist and is committed to promoting oral health in children.
  • 1908 United States G.V. Black published his impressive two-volume work on Operator Dentistry, which will be the essential clinical reference text for over 50 years. Black then developed the techniques of standardized procedures and instruments, set the amalgamation technique, and was a pioneer in using visual aids in teaching dentistry.
  • 1910 United States The first formal program for teaching dental nurses was established. Unfortunately, the program was interrupted in 1914, mainly due to opposition from dentists
  • 1914 United States Dental hygienists were introduced by the hand of Dr. Fones. The first-class graduates in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
  • 1919 United States/Germany The Ritter company presents a unit dental drill, pressurized water, air, characterization, and light. You can read it to follow other companies, and the standards for tooth removal are established.
  • 1920 France The cable-guided Doriot arm, developed by Parisian dentist Constant Doriot, became the standard for transferring the electric motor's power to the drill and burr. It was complemented by the high speed with air rotor by Walsh and Borden in 1957 and was replaced by Siemens electric micromotors in 1965
  • 1921 New Zealand The formation of those who will become Dental Therapists in New Zealand.
  • 1926 United States William J. Gies published an article on the state of dental education in the United States, criticizing the poor standards and income criteria for an academic and university dental equation.
  • 1926 United States During the FDI Annual Congress in Philadelphia, a resolution was adopted to recommend the creation of the Chief Dental Officer (responsible for dental health) for all governments.
  • 1937 United States Alvin Strock inserts the first implant Vitallium dental.
  • 1938 United States The nylon toothbrush, the first made with synthetic fibers, appeared on the market to replace brushes with natural bristles from animal hair.
  • 1938 United States The CAOD index is used for the first time in an extensive study of populations in the United States. United by Klein, Palmer, and Knutson.
  • 1940 United States Trendley Dean determines the ideal fluoride level in the drinking water to reduce caries without stains.
  • 1945 United States The era of the fluoridation of the waters when Newburgh, New York, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, added sodium fluoride to their public water supply networks. 
  • 1949 Switzerland Oskar Hagger, a chemist, develops the first dentine acrylic resin etching system.
  • 1949 New Zealand John Patrick Walsh patents a drill with compressed air that achieves a very high speed.
  • 1951 France The IDF adopts its first resolution in support of the use of fluoride for caries control
  • 1951 Switzerland The WHO General Health Assembly decides to incorporate a dental program into the activities of the WHO.
  • 1954 Switzerland The first electric toothbrush is manufactured. In the early 1960s, cordless models are developed. 
  • 1955 United States The first fluoridated toothpaste was intro was to the market.
  • 1957 United States At the FDI World Congress in Rome, the American John Borden introduced his high-speed air.
  • 1957 United States Dentsply introduces its ultrasonic device to remove tartar.
  • 1960 The technique of working in a sitting position, four-handed (dentist and assistant), with the patient in a lying position. This technique improves productivity and shortens work times.
  • 1960 Europe Lasers are developed and approved for soft tissue procedures. 1961 United States/USSR Space dentistry was established as a discipline. During extended stays in the In space, astronauts in a zero-gravity situation quickly lose bone density, leading to tooth loss.
  • 1962 United States Rafael Bowen developed a complex thermosetting resin used in modern composite resins
  • 1965 Germany The first micromotor is introduced by Siemens, ending the era of Doriot's pulley arm.
  • 1971 Germany Based on the earlier proposal of German Professor Joachim Viohl, the two-digit coding of the IDF was introduced as a worldwide standard.
  • 1975 Germany Articaine is introduced as a standard for local anesthesia in dentistry.
  • 1980 Sweden Per-Ingvar Brånemark describes the techniques of osseointegration for dental implants and the laws for the foundation of modern implantology.
  • 1980 Europe The first Dental Directive in the European Union harmonizes teaching in European faculties, allowing dentists to practice throughout the E.U.
  • 1E.U0E.Uorld, The increase in new infections leads to an extensive review of dental procedures, equipment, disposable material, and sterilization protocols to eliminate the risk of cross-infection.
  • 1981 Switzerland/UK ThU.K.WHO and the FDI jointly declare the "Global Oral Health Goals for the Year 2000".
  • 1990 United States The emergence of new materials restoratives and the increased use of whitening dental, veneers, and implants inaugurates the era of dentistry aesthetics.
  • 1990 Canada The term "Evidence-Based Dentistry" (EBD), adopted from evidence-based medicine ("the integration of best research with clinical experience and patient values"), is accepted as a rational and scientific synthesis of the practice of dentistry
  • 1994 Switzerland/UK WHO and IDF declare 1994 the "International Year of Oral Health," dedicating April 7 to World Oral Health Day.
  • 1997 United States The FDA approved the Erbium-YAG laser, the first to be used in the treatment of cavities. 
  • 2000 France During the Congress Annual in Paris celebrates the organization's centenary. Jacques Chirac receives the IDF Council at the Palais of the Elysée Palace to commemorate this occasion.
  • 2001 France The IDF establishes the Committee for World Dental Development and Health Promotion to respond to growing disparities in oral health worldwide.
  • 2002 United States Reference work published: Oral Health in America: A report of the Surgeon General.
  • 2003 Switzerland/France/United States Global Oral Health Goals for 2020 established jointly by WHO, FDI, and IADR
  • 2004 Kenya The first Conference on Oral Health in Africa is organized by the IDF and WHO in Nairobi. The Nairobi Declaration on Oral Health in Africa recognizes oral health as a fundamental human right for the first time. 
  • 2005 Switzerland, The WHO Framework Convention on the Control The current FCTC, using international law to improve public health, requires governments to implement proven methods to reduce tobacco consumption.
  • 2005 France The joint publication IDF/WHO Tobacco or Oral Health is published in six languages.
  • 2006 France/Switzerland, A consultation of experts by WHO, IDF, and IADR, recognizes appropriate access to fluoride as part of human rights.
  • 2007 Switzerland Health ministers from 193 countries adopted the first resolution on oral health in 26 years during the 60th World Health Assembly in Geneva, calling for renewed attention to oral health across the world 
  • 2008 Switzerland The first World Noma Day is celebrated in Geneva on the occasion of the World Health Assembly. The WHO, IDF, and other organizations alert the world to this disease of forgotten poverty.
  • 2008 France The FDI declares that World Health Day Oral must be held every year on September 12 (the anniversary of IDF founder Charles Godon and the date of the historic Alma-Ata conference in Primary Care). In 2013 memorial day will be moved to March 20.
  • 2009 France First edition of the Oral Health Atlas published by the IDF.
  • 2011 United States The U.N. adU.N.U.N.d the Political Declaration at its high-level meeting in the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases, recognizing the burden of disease on many countries
  • 2012 Switzerland The FDI publishes its Vision 2020 guidance document: Shaping the future of oral health.
  • 2013 Switzerland The Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted by the United Nations Program for the Environment to reduce mercury pollution.
  • 2015 Switzerland The WHO publishes the Guide: Sugar Consumption in adults and children. 

Comments