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There are several modern conveniences which we should be thankful for, including dentistry. Learn a little more about what dentistry looked like before modern times.

The Perils Of The Tooth Worm

Sumerians living around 5000 B.C. didn’t believe plaque bacteria were the cause of tooth decay, they thought the culprit was a worm which lived in the mouth. As strange as this may sound, the tooth worm belief was held until the 1700’s.

The First Dentist

Hesy-Re was an ancient Egyptian scribe who also practiced dentistry. He is traditionally considered the first dentist and on his tomb are the words, “the greatest of those who deal with teeth, and of physicians.”

Ancient Dentistry

Though they did not know as much about dental care as we do today, people in ancient societies made a study of teeth. From Egypt to Greece to Rome, there are several medical texts which mention eruption patterns, toothache treatments, extractions, and tooth replacements.

Dr. Barber

Did you know that barbers also practiced dentistry? In medieval times, barbers performed several procedures such as leeching, extracting teeth, and shaving a beard. They were not always trained in dental surgeries and sometimes believed in old folk traditions, such as kissing a donkey to cure a toothache as was believed in Germany.

The Arrival Of Dentistry Books

In 1530, a man named Artzney Buchlein published the Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth in Germany. Though the Father of Modern Dentistry, Pierre Fauchard, would publish a text that revolutionized dentistry hundreds of years later, Buchlein’s work was the first complete guide to teeth and dental procedures.