History of Oral Health - Timeline of Dentistry

  • 25000 BC - Cro-Magnon people had tooth decay.
  • 5000 BC - Sumerian text tries to explain cause of caries as tooth worm.
  • 4500 BC - Dating of the earliest found dental filling made from wax. It was found on the territory of today’s Slovenia.
  • Around 3000 BC - lived Hesy-Re, an Egyptian scribe, who was called the first “dentist”.
  • 2700 BC - Chinese tried to use acupuncture to lessen the pain associated with tooth decay.
  • 1700 BC - Code of Hammurabi uses tooth extraction as punishment.
  • 1600 BC - Edwin Smith Papyrus describes healing of some dental ailments.
  • 700 BC - Etruscans use first dental appliances or bridges.
  • 700-500BC - Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about dentistry and some more complex dental ailments.
  • 100 BC - Roman medical writer Cornelius Celsus, wrote about oral diseases and dental treatments.
  • 500 - 1000 - The most common practitioners of this time were monks who were the most educated people.
Picture Of Medieval Dentist Removing Tooth
  • 659 - Chinese physician Su Kung wrote about silver paste, the earliest dental amalgams, in his medical texts.
  • 1130 - 1163 - Papa forbids monks to perform any kind of surgery including dentistry. Because barbers often assisted monks during these tasks, they learned how to do them and after these bans they started performing them themselves.
  • 1210 - In France, barbers found a Guild of Barbers which later split into two: guild of surgeons and guild of barber-surgeons.
  • 1530 - The first book for barber-surgeons is published in Germany. It was called a Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth and was written by Artzney Buchlein.
  • 1575 - Ambrose Pare, who is considered a Father of Surgery, in his Complete Works gives also practical information about dentistry.
  • 1723 - Le chirurgien dentiste or The Surgeon Dentist is published, by Pierre Fauchard who is credited as being the Father of Modern Dentistry. Book deals with basic oral anatomy and function, operative and restorative techniques and denture construction.
  • 1790 -John Greenwood, constructs the first known dental foot engine that rotated a drill.
  • 1832 - James Snell invented the first reclining dental chair.
  • 1840 - Dentist Horace Wells the first demonstrated that nitrous oxide can be used as an anesthetic.
  • 1871 - The first electric dental engine was invented. It had a self-contained motor and a hand piece that held a drill.
  • 1880s - The first collapsible metal tube appears as a container for toothpaste. It revolutionizes toothpaste manufacturing and marketing.
  • 1890s - American dentist Willoughby Miller in Germany describes the microbial basis of dental cavities, for the first time.
  • 1895 - G. V. Black standardized both cavity preparation and manufacturing process of silver fillings.
  • 1903 - Charles Land invents the porcelain jacket crown.
  • 1945 - Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States, starts to fluoridate drinking water which makes it the first city in the world to do so.
  • 1955 - Michael Buonocore invented white (composite) fillings.
  • 1957 - A high speed air-driven hand piece was invented by John Borden. It increased drill power from the traditional 5,000 rpm to 300,000 rpm, and shortened the time to prepare a tooth for a filling.
Picture Of Medieval Dentist Removing Tooth
Picture Of Dental Instrument Collection
Picture Of Dental Injection