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Have you ever wondered about the origins of dentistry? If so, this article is for you. We compiled a brief history of dentistry, from the first known dentist to the modern day.

2600 B.C. bears the first known reference to a dental practitioner: the tomb of Hesy-Re, an Egyptian scribe, includes the title “the greatest of those who deal with teeth.” Other prominent historical figures such as Aristotle and Hippocrates included toothache treatments in their writing.

Throughout history, not much is known of dentistry aside from writings of treatments for dental maladies. Dental procedures were performed by specialized barbers known as “lay barbers,” as dentistry was not considered a true profession until much later.

In 1723, French dentist Pierre Fauchard, credited as the Father of Modern Dentistry, published the first comprehensive system of caring for and treating teeth. Fauchard also introduced dental fillings and the idea that acid from sugar can cause tooth decay.

Fauchard’s work allowed other dental professionals to contribute their knowledge, and dentistry took flight. During this time, dental x-rays came into use and the ADA (American Dental Association) formed in Niagara Falls, NY. John Baker is the first medically-trained dentist to practice in the U.S., and he passed his knowledge on to Paul Revere.

The 20th century witnessed the invention of Novocain as well as modern dental care products such as the nylon toothbrush, water fluoridation, tubed toothpaste and mouthwash. Laser treatment followed in 1960.

Thanks to the many dental contributors, you have the opportunity to visit the dentist for a checkup whenever you please. If more than six months have passed since your last checkup, contact Baxter Dental at 218-829-4207 for an appointment and take advantage of the wonderful art of dentistry!