Who Developed Modern Dentistry?

Dentistry has come a long way since the ancient Sumerians referred to “tooth worms” as the cause of tooth decay around 5000 BC. Over the years, dentistry has developed from being one of the many duties of barbers in the Middle Ages to the modern version that uses cutting-edge technology to provide safe, effective care to so many patients. So, how did we get here?

french book page about pierre fauchard, the father of modern dentistry

Father of Modern Dentistry: Pierre Fauchard

In 1723, a French surgeon named Pierre Fauchard published “The Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise on Teeth.” His book was the first to detail basic oral anatomy and function along with describing a comprehensive system for dental care. He also wrote about his techniques for extracting teeth and performing other dental operations.

Dental Prosthesis: Then and Now

Fauchard was the first to use dental prosthesis to replace lost teeth. He advocated for carving replacement teeth from ivory or bone and using a system of waxed thread, gold wire, and levers to fasten them to natural teeth.

Luckily, the dental community continued to innovate and improve upon Fauchard’s designs for prosthetic teeth. Modern dental implants look and function just like natural teeth – no system of gold wires and levers necessary!

Evolution of Orthodontics

In addition to his system of dental care and work pioneering dental prosthetics, Fauchard also discovered that he could use braces to fix teeth alignment issues. He fastened braces to teeth using waxed linen or silk thread. We’re not positive, but we’re willing to bet that early braces were not very comfortable! Fortunately, orthodontics have evolved quite a bit. Our office is proud to offer Invisalign ®, a clear aligner system that gradually adjusts the alignment of your teeth over time.

Dr. Brigman and the rest of our team at Helotes Family Dentistry are proud to continue the dental tradition started by Pierre Fauchard. To learn more about our services or to schedule your next visit to our office, contact us today!

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Helotes Family Dentistry

Helotes Family Dentistry