Origins of Dentistry

Let’s take a journey through time and trace the origins of dentistry!


Dentistry, as we know it, has come a long way. It all began with the Egyptian Indus Valley Civilization in 7000 B.C. They were the first to use artificial teeth, which paved way for dental crowns and implants today. From that point on, ideas about dentistry began to flourish:

5000 B.C
It was during this time that theories about tooth decay developed. It was believed, as stated in a Sumerian text, that tooth decay came from “tooth worms.” This, of course, was found to be untrue during the 1700’s. But the beginnings of dentistry does not stop there! Dentistry can also be traced back to writings by Hippocrates and Aristotle in Ancient Greece.

1700s
In the 1700s, French surgeon Pierre Fauchard wrote a book about maintaining proper dental health. In his writings, he expressed the idea of filling decayed teeth and the tooth damaging effect of sugar. It was at this point that he was named the father of dentistry.

1800’s
Dentistry really started to take off in the 1800’s. As the need and curiosity about dental health grew, more research was done. Baltimore college of dental surgery was founded in 1840 and was the first college dedicated to dentistry. A couple of years down the road in 1867, Harvard school of dentistry was established.  With dentistry becoming increasingly important, Colgate began to sell toothpaste in 1873 and toothbrushes in 1874.  Additionally, in 1896, the first dental X-ray was created to help further detect oral health issues.

Dentistry has since flourished and now we understood the importance of maintaining overall health! Please make sure to visit Premier Dental Associates of Lower Manhattan twice a year for dental checkups and to brush/floss your teeth daily! Dentistry sure has a rich history and a bright future ahead, and protecting your teeth is our goal.