Technology in Dentistry Through the Ages

Posted by

Technology is everywhere. But the misconception is that it equates to anything and everything that’s advanced and digital. This isn’t the case because technology refers to the application of science. This means that as long as science is applied, it is considered as technology.

Following that in terms of dental advancement, technology has long existed in this industry. It had already existed even before equipment was created to take a tooth off. So to refresh your memory, you can go to website to know more about it.

History of Technology Throughout the Dental Industry

  • Prehistoric Civilizations

There is evidence that shows man showing importance to their teeth. Archealogists have found a set of teeth that dates all the way back to 5,450 BC. This set of teeth shows that ancient people used to replace human teeth with other alternatives. There were animal teeth, ivory, and pearl. There were even sets of teeth that used carved bone or metal to fit the place of a missing tooth.

  • Etruscans

In the period of 768-264 BC, ancient civilizations started to use different kinds of rocks and gems in order to fill missing spaces in their teeth. To be exact, evidence shows that Etruscans, who are known to come from Italy, used gold in their teeth. They were the first humans to think that gold could be a good replacement for damaged teeth. This era also showed the first use of dental bridges. The dental bridges were created using tools like pliers and small anvils.

  • Native Americans

At the same time period with the Etruscans, the Native Americans also used jewelry and animal teeth to replace lost teeth. The Incas and the Aztecs believed that when someone loses a tooth, it would mean death in their tribe. However, they also believed that the teeth should be decorated with jewelry. This is why archeologists found that Aztec teeth had gems drilled onto the teeth.

Meanwhile, in the Inca tribes, the teeth decorations were more advanced. For example, archeologists found a set of teeth that had gold inlays on it. There were tiny gold dots placed on top of the front teeth. Unlike the Aztecs, the Incas had a more cosmetic approach to decoration.

  • Egyptians

The Egyptians are known to being advanced. They were the first people to erect pyramids and statues even without the use of equipment. Egypt was then a center of technology. The same goes for their teeth. As early as 3000 BC until 395 AD, the Egyptians were creating ways to maintain good set of teeth. This is when the use of gold wires showed to create a denture. Think of a thread that puts loose teeth together. This was exactly how the Egyptians managed to create golden dentures.

  • Japanese

In Asia, they had a different approach to dentures. Instead of tying the teeth together, Nakaoka Tei used cherry wood to carve a denture that would fit properly into the jaw. The Buddhist priestess used the wood to carve the teeth and used pearls as the tooth replacement.

  • Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Ambroise Pare became known because he was the first barber-surgeon who replaced bleeding wounds using a ligature. Although this is a more medical approach than a dental one, this opened the doors for surgery in terms of teeth.

  • The Enlightenment

During the late 1600s to the half of the 1700s, Pierre Fauchard rose to fame because of his book Le Chirurgien. This book contained everything there is to know about his dentistry apprenticeship. He was one of the people that become dental surgeons during their time in Paris. He is known as the Father of Modern Dentistry.

  • The Modern Age

Fast forward to the 20th century, the first dental clinic opened in America. Unlike the dental clinics you know today, the clinics were run by technicians back then. It was even called a “dental lab” because it was used mostly for research. The focus in these labs were prosthetic teeth and the materials and methods to make it possible.

  • The Present Age

Today, high technology is the main driver for improvement on the techniques and equipment used in dentistry. The trends today make use of digital software in order to view the inside of the mouth with clarity. Aside from the techniques, dentistry is also making a turn to make it more accessible and “friendly” to its patients with new ways of creating a more comfortable environment.