We are back again with some of the most important information about the history of dentistry. In the previous note we covered the origins of dentistry up to the early 1800’s when the first real dentistry school was opened.
By this time, there was a definitive distinction between common barbers and people specializing on the care of teeth. Serious research was being developed by doctors about dental afflictions. Not only that, but by 1825 porcelain teeth had made their way into the market. This was a huge advancement but many dentists and patients resist the change due many not liking porcelain teeth because they believe they look unnaturally white.
Then something shook the world of dentistry between 1833 and 1850. The “Crawcours brothers” from France created amalgam filling material and introduced it to United States. They became extremely popular quickly but, sadly, these fillings were shown to have high levels of mercury and were most likely toxic. Many dentists refused to use these and many others were expelled from their dentistry associations and their licences revoked for using even other safer types of amalgams. By the end of this war, the American Dental Association was formed and the amalgams were allowed into practices under great scrutiny to avoid bad batches of material. This is regarded as one of the darkest chapters in dentistry in United States.
In 1871 another milestone is achieved. James B. Morrison patents the first foot-treadle capable of cutting enamel and dentin quickly and inexpensively. This would allow any dentists to work in a more precise way. At almost the same time, an electric dental motor is created but it wouldn’t find a market until much later.
The next big step in dentistry comes just ten years later, with the creation of collapsible metal tubes for dentifrice (toothpaste!). Before this, dentists would make and sell their own batches as powder or liquid form. And finally, by the end of the 1890’s the very first dental x-rays are taken from a living person in U.S.
Phew! A lot happened during that century that marked the way dentistry is practiced today. In the next installment we will touch upon the amazing developments of the 20th Century. Keep following our dentists in Cancun on twitter and Facebook to not miss it!