history of dentistry


The History of Dentistry

We were pleasantly surprised a few months ago when we spotted the BBC Four documentary Drills, Dentures & Dentistry: An Oral History on our television screens.

It’s not often that the history of dentistry is made the focal point of a television programme so we were keen to tune in!

What a treat it was! Presented by historian Professor Joanna Bourke, the show took a look at the evolution of dentistry from the back street profession practised by amateurs to a technologically advanced, very much necessary discipline that has the ability to radically alter people’s lives in the best possible ways.

Here are some of our favourite facts from the show; you may be surprised just how far dentistry has come and how interesting the history of dentistry actually is!

1. Extraction Used To Be The ONLY Cure For Toothache

That’s right! Until the mid-1800s, the only cure for that distracting, dull ache was extraction. Now we have fillings to help us save teeth where only part of the tooth is decayed, or you can elect to have root canal surgery in the event of infected pulp. Thanks to increasingly sophisticated technology, we do all we can to save a tooth before considering extraction.

2. A Visit To The Dentist Was A Scary Prospect 150 Years Ago

Due to the lack of training, sterile environment and equipment, thousands of people died as a result of their trip to the dentist. This is due to the onset of infection, botched dental surgery or other complications. Before dentistry was a recognised profession dental procedures were left in the hands of barbers or blacksmiths! No wonder the dentist’s chair was frightening!

Thank goodness technology had advanced and you can now relax at your dental appointments with Ollie & Darsh in a calming, professional dental clinic in the city centre. And for those of you who still fear the chair, we have gentle sedation options that will put you at your ease.

3. Dental Implants Were A Little Different In The Past

As you know, here at Ollie & Darsh we use cutting-edge technology to create natural-looking and functioning dental implants for our clients, something that we pride ourselves on. However, a few hundred years ago, if you were wealthy enough to get a new tooth to replace a missing one you could either pay the poor to give up their teeth for you or, perhaps even more grimly, from the recently deceased!

We found Drills, Dentures & Dentistry: An Oral History a really interesting watch that helped deepen our understanding of dentistry and the incredible journey it’s been on, especially over the last 100 years. It also makes us incredibly proud of the journey our clinic has gone on over the last 10 years and makes us even more passionate to bring great smiles to the people of Liverpool.

Why Is The History Of Dentistry Important?

The history of dentistry is full of important discoveries and innovations that have greatly improved the oral health of both individuals and populations around the world. For instance, early dentists found that fluoride could help to prevent tooth decay, and fluoridated water supplies now reach over 205 million people worldwide. In addition, research into the causes of tooth decay led to the development of dental sealants, which are now used to protect the teeth of over half of all children in the United States.

The history of dentistry also includes many advances in dental surgery, such as the introduction of anaesthesia and the development of new techniques for repairing damaged teeth. As we continue to learn from our past, dentistry will no doubt continue to evolve and improve, bringing us ever closer to achieving optimal oral health for all.

Thank you for reading our blog about the history of dentistry If you’re ready to start your smile transformation journey then please don’t hesitate to contact our amazing team who will be able to get you started on the first steps to the smile you’ve always wanted.

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