History of Dentistry

Believe it or not, the history dentistry goes way back. There is evidence that ancient dentistry was performed as far back as 7000 B.C.!  For thousands of years people have performed dentistry without the help of anesthesia, x-rays, numbing, or any of the modern tools we use today.  Below are some highlights from the history of dentistry:

7000 B.C. – 5500 B.C.

In what is now Pakistan, teeth dating from 7000 BC to 5500 B.C. were found with holes thought to be made from dental drills.

500-300 B.C.

Hippocrates (an ancient Greek physician) and Aristotle (an ancient Greek philosopher) both write about dentistry.  They address the eruption pattern of teeth, gum disease and how to treat it, using forceps to extract teeth, and how to stabilize loose teeth and fractured jaws with wire.

500-1000 A.D.

Monks generally perform dentistry (as well as surgery and other medical practices) since they are the most educated people at this time. Barbers sometimes would assist the monks with medical procedures.

1130-1163 A.D.

Because of official orders from the Pope, monks are forbidden from performing extractions, bloodletting, or surgeries.  After these edicts were put into effect, barbers began to perform dental practices in the monks’ stead.


In Germany Artzney Buchlein publishes the first book solely about dentistry called The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth.  The book addresses placing gold fillings, extracting and drilling teeth, and oral hygiene.


The Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise on Teeth is published by Pierre Fauchard.  Because the book is the first comprehensive outline for practicing dentistry, Fauchard is sometimes called “the Father of Modern Dentistry.”


A year after the x-ray is invented C. Edmond Kells, a dentist practicing in New Orleans, takes the first dental x-ray on a live person in America.


President Harry S. Truman signs a Congressional bill which starts federal funding in order to fund dental research and which founds The National Institute of Dental Research. In 1998 The National Institute of Dental Research is given a new name: the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

1987 to Now

Doctors David and Michael Rothan started their business at Twin Dental in 1987 and have been performing superior dental care ever since.  At Twin Dental we treat our patients with the utmost respect and utilize the best dental technology and materials to assist each patient’s unique with dental needs.  Visit us at www.twindental.com to find more about us and to schedule an appointment.  We would be happy to take care of your dental needs!

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