Throughout human history, we have endeavored to solve the mysterious maladies that affect our teeth and gums. As early as 7000 BC, the practice of removing decay and infection from teeth was in full swing, according to remains found in an ancient graveyard in Pakistan. The altered teeth had nearly perfect holes carved out of their centers, and since the teeth in question were molars (situated at the back of the mouth), experts believe they can rule out cosmetic reasons as motivation for the dental work. Since then, dentistry has taken leaps and strides, mirroring the advancement of the human race as a whole. In honor of our ancient profession, Brighton dentistDr. Thomas Villani lists some interesting highlights of the dental profession’s history.

Did You Know?

  • The earliest known reference to someone as a dentist is on the tomb of the ancient Egyptian scribe, Hesi-Re. The inscription reads “the greatest of physicians, and of those who work on teeth.”
  • Also in Egypt, mummies have been discovered with tooth fillings made from resin and malachite.
  • The earliest form of the toothbrush was fairly simple; a tree twig referred to as a “chewing stick,” which the Babylonians first gnawed and chewed to keep their teeth clean.
  • The Chinese also adopted the chewing stick, shortening it and redesigning it with a sharp end (to use as a toothpick) and a soft end that served as a rudimentary toothbrush.
  • Around 700 BC, the Etruscans utilized ivory and bone to carve false teeth, which were secured in place by gold bridgework.
  • By 201 AD, the Romans had become dental experts, fashioning gold crowns and fixed bridgework. They also discovered an effective method to keep teeth clean; a mixture of ground eggshells and honey.
  • In 1866, Lucy Beaman Hobbs became the first licensed female dentist. Shortly after, in 1905, dental assistant Irene Newman became the first dental hygienist when she was trained to clean teeth.

To take advantage of today’s advanced dentistry, or to schedule appointment, contact your Brighton family dentist, Dr. Villani, today at 617-562-5210. Brighton Family Dental Group proudly serves patients from Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and the 02135 area.