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Published On: Wed, Nov 18th, 2020

Dentists Who Changed History

We all know how important it is to look after our teeth, not just to make sure we can eat our favourite foods, but because our dental health is directly linked to our general health. Research has shown that poor oral health can lead to an increased risk of other health issues such as heart disease and stroke. Luckily, dental care has come a long way over the generations thanks to these pioneers of dentistry.

photo/ Michal Jarmoluk via pixabay

William Herbert Rollins

Rollins was an American dentist and scientist who, after studying x-rays, developed what is thought to be the first dental x-ray apparatus in the late 1800s. After suffering a severe burn during his work, he started investigations into the safety of radiation, and discovered that it could cause people significant damage. As a result, he recommended safety measures such as using the smallest possible dose required and protecting the areas of the patient not being x-rayed with lead. 

William Thomas Green Morton

It is thanks to William Morton that we no longer have to suffer the pain of dental procedures without anaesthetic. Morton was a practising dental surgeon in the 1800s who successfully used ether as an anaesthetic during a public surgery, which ultimately led to its accepted and widespread use during medical procedures.

Lucy Hobbs Taylor

Taylor was the trailblazer for female dentists after becoming the first female dentist in America in 1861. Despite being rejected by colleges and professors time and time again, she refused to give up and finally found a tutor who was wiling to take her on. After setting up her own successful practice, she became so well known that she was invited to prestigious dentistry conventions and finally allowed to complete her degree to become a recognised dentist.

Pierre Fauchard

The ‘Father of Modern Dentistry’ was a French Physician who wrote the first book on dentistry and toothcare, “The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth.” He was renowned for his surgical skills and pioneered the use of dental fillings, false teeth, and braces, procedures that modern day dentists like Dr Jim Ellis, DDS Ogden Utah are continuously trying to improve. Fauchard was also was the first to make the link between sugar acids and cavities.

William Addis

William Addis was an Englishman who is believed to have created the first mass-produced toothbrush in 1780 after attaching bristles to a piece of bone. Before this, it was common practise to use things such as crushed shells or soot to clean teeth.

Thanks to these leaps in dental medicine, we now know how to look after our teeth and can be assured that it we need any dental procedures, they will be done effectively, and with as little pain as possible. Gone are the days of tooth extraction without anaesthetic, rotting teeth being left to fester, and having to chew the contents of the fireplace to keep our teeth clean. If you are still worried about going to the dentist, you should be thankful for how far we’ve come!

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