Dentistry sure has come a long way since the dark ages! Back in about 300 B.C. ancient dentists were building dental bridges to replace missing teeth and holding them in place with brass bands. These days, modern dentistry allows us to replace missing teeth with a simple dental implant procedure.
The Dark Ages of Dentistry must be where people’s overwhelming fear of the dentist originates. In this depiction of a dentist extracting a patient’s tooth, we can see that the patient is clearly in distress. Keep in mind that back then, there was no novocaine, no laughing gas, no anesthesia of any type to alleviate dental pain. Dentists in the 1700’s recommended using “soot” to clean teeth.
With the invention of nitrous oxide sedation, “laughing gas”, we could finally have dental procedures and tooth extractions without pain. It didn’t take long for doctors to realize that you had to mix the nitrous oxide with oxygen to prevent serious complications with your patient! Nitrous oxide was invented in 1794 by Thomas Beddoes and James Watt. It began being used for dentistry in 1844.
.Dentists and dental products have been popular in advertising for as long as advertising has existed. The gentleman in this advertisement for Dr. Shiffman looks really happy to have a big, gaping hole where his tooth use to be. Dental implants in one form or another have been found throughout ancient history. Ancient Egyptian mummies have actually been found with functioning dental implants in their jawbones!