For thousands of years, humans have been concerned with the cleaning of their teeth. However, for much of this time, growth in dentistry as a profession was very slow. In the 1700s, however, its growth picked up at an accelerated rate, particularly in France and America. Here’s a brief sketch of how it all happened:
In 1723, a French dentist named Pierre Fauchard published a monumental book called The Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise on Teeth. This was the first text to offer a comprehensive system for the practice of dentistry.
In 1746, another Frenchman named Claude Mouton penned the process for repairing damaged and decayed teeth with gold cap crowns. He also suggested something revolutionary: shield them in white enamel for aesthetic appeal. This may have been the first contribution to what would later be called “cosmetic dentistry.”
The age of dentistry in American commenced when John Baker, a British dentist immigrated to Colonial America to the first dental practice there. This same man trained the famous Paul Revere in dentistry. In 1776, at the Battle of Breed’s Hill, Revere identified the body of his friend by examining a particular bridge had constructed for him – the first documented case of post-mortem dental forensics.
Building upon Mouton’s contribution to cosmetic dentistry, in 1789 another French dentist named Nicholas Dubois de Chemant filed the first patent for artificial porcelain teeth. And a year later, John Greenwood, who had worked on the teeth of George Washington, patents the “dental foot engine” or a dental drill powered by a foot treadle.
Dr. Carol Halloran and our team at Crossroads Dental in Waterloo, Iowa, honor the efforts of our dental forefathers at home and abroad. Want to experience the benefits of dentistry in the 21st century? Call us at 319.291.3908.