Dr. Todd Corbitt

4405 Milestrip Rd. | Buffalo, NY 14219

Medicaid and State Insurance Accepted!

History of Dental Science

Library filled with books about dental science

Have you ever wondered where dentistry originated? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), researchers have found signs of dental practices in Sumerian text that dates all the way back to 5000 BC. The world of dentistry has evolved drastically through the ages.

Ancient Times

In the Sumerian text from 5000 BC, they described tooth decay as tooth worms. They believed that tiny worms were inside of the teeth making the holes from the inside out. Later on, between 1700 BC and 100 BC, more texts discussed dental diseases and remedies for toothaches. Both Aristotle and Hippocrates shared their treatment ideas for gum disease and tooth decay.

Middle Ages

It wasn’t until the middle ages, in 700 AD, that a medical text discussed silver paste, or amalgam, to help maintain oral health. Even later, in 1530, the publication of the first book devoted entirely to dentistry, The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth, occurred in Germany. It covered topics such as oral hygiene, tooth fillings, drilling teeth, and extractions.


In 1723, Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon known as the Father of Modern Dentistry, published The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth. Historians believe this is the first publication of dentistry as a practice and the foundation of modern dentistry. It included information about the anatomy of the mouth, restorative techniques, oral surgery techniques, and more. In the 1700s, practitioners and inventors made many advancements in the field of dentistry. Among them were the creation of the first dental chair, dental forensics, and a patent for porcelain teeth.


In the 1800s, dentistry established itself as an important part of the medical field. This time saw the foundation of the first dental school, along with the creation of the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. Many organizations sprouted, such as the American Society of Dental Surgeons, the American Journal of Dental Science, the American Dental Association, and more.

The 1800s welcomed many advancements in dental tools, materials, and practices. The reclining dental chair, commercially manufactured porcelain teeth, tooth molds with rubber, tubed toothpaste, and the electric dental engine are just a few examples.


The 1900s introduced the first dental hygienist program, along with the American Board of Orthodontics, water fluoridation, and the U.S. Army Dental Corps. The dental screw implant, acrylic tooth bonding, and the porcelain jacket crown were created. Many people used electric toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste.

Tooth-colored restorations and at-home whitening kits became popular and ushered in the era of cosmetic dentistry. The use of lasers became common in the treatment of conditions like gum disease and improvements in technology shortened the average treatment time.


We continue to see dentistry evolve in the 21st century. At McKinley Crossing Dental, we strive to provide the most advanced technology and up-to-date care. Dr. Bartos stays on top of industry advancements so he can provide patients with state-of-the-art dental treatments. Looking to experience a higher standard of dental care? Contact our office to schedule your next dental visit!

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