Did you know that humans were cleaning teeth as early as 12,000 B.C.? Dentistry has had thousands of years to progress, but most of those years were actually relatively stagnant in comparison to the scientific and technological advances of the 1800s. Here’s a brief sketch of dentistry advances in the 19th century:
First, let’s talk economics. In 1825, the White Dental Manufacturing Company formed. They sold affordable porcelain teeth, both establishing and dominating the market for the rest of the century. Later in 1833, the French Crawcour brothers introduced amalgam filling material to America. However, their questionable business practices caused a controversy among dentists about the safety of metal fillings – which continues among holistic dentists even today.
Advances in dental education and knowledge increased fourfold. In 1840 the world’s first dental school, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, was founded and the first Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree created. The American Dental Association (ADA) was founded in 1859 and still exists today. In 1890, an American dentist wrote a book about the microbial causes of tooth decay which was the catalyst for a worldwide movement for regular tooth-brushing and flossing habits. Finally, around the turn of the next century, in 1899, Edward Hartley Angle classified a variety of malocclusions, creating a foundation for orthodontics.
As mentioned earlier, dental technology saw great advances. In 1871, James B. Morrison patented the first factory-made foot-treadle dental engine, allowing dentists to cut through delicate enamel and dentin smoothly. During the 1880s, the metal tube gradually replaced toothpaste sold in boxes or jars. And in 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist, discovered the x-ray, quickly adapted to looking at the health of patients’ teeth.
Are you interested in seeing the latest developments in modern dentistry? Call 860-442-3323 to reach Dr. Paul Hanna and his team at Paul Hanna, DMD PC in New London, Connecticut.