The Advances of Dentistry in the 18th Century: A Brief Timeline

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The origins of dentistry reach farther than you might expect – as far as 12,000 B.C., in fact. But until the 18th century, development was sluggish. Then progress in dentistry accelerated. Here’s a brief timeline of how it happened:

1723: Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon, publishes a monumental book called The Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise on Teeth. This was the very first book to offer a completely comprehensive system for the practice of dentistry.
1746: Claude Mouton, a French dentist, writes in detail about repairing damaged and decayed teeth with gold cap crowns and suggests casing them in white enamel to match surrounding teeth.
1760: John Baker, a British dentist, moves to what would become the United States and becomes the first dentist to practice in Colonial America.
1768: Paul Revere, who was trained by John Baker in dentistry, advertises his services in a Boston newspaper. In 1776, he identifies the body of his friend, Dr. Joseph Warren, on the grounds of the Battle of Breed’s Hill by examining a particular bridge had constructed for him. This is the first known case of post-mortem dental forensics.
1789: Nicholas Dubois de Chemant, a French dentist, purchases the first patent for artificial porcelain teeth.
1790: John Greenwood, who worked on the teeth of George Washington, invents the “dental foot engine” or a dental drill powered by a foot treadle. In the same year, another American named Josiah Flagg creates the first dental chair.

Dr. Michael Hall and our team at Central Oregon Dental Center in Bend, Oregon, honor the efforts and sacrifices of great men and women who helped advance something we know and love so well. Want to experience the benefits of dentistry in the 21st century? Call us at 541-389-0300.