In 2600 BC, Hesy-Re, an Egyptian man thought to be the first dentist, died. But dentistry was around and in practice long before Hesy-Re lived. Keep reading to learn about the evolution of dental technology.
Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, dating back to 7000 BC with the Indus Valley Civilization.
And, in 5000 BC, a Sumerian text was written describing tooth worms as the cause of tooth decay (an idea that persisted to the 17th century).
Even scholars Hippocrates and Celsus wrote about dentistry in their various essays. Aristotle wrote about dentistry and even earned the moniker as the “Grandfather of Dentistry” because of his theories (which were relatively spot-on) about teeth, including their eruption pattern, gum disease, and ways to move and restore teeth.
Dentistry Advancements Through the Years
In 1723, Pierre Fauchard published “The Art of Dental Surgery,” which became the most popular dental textbook for over 100 years. In 1820, William Adams Delany invented the first electric drill, the birth of dental technology. And in 1840, Dr. John Hunter introduced anesthesia into dentistry by using ether.
The next significant advancement came in 1880 when Charles Ellis discovered X-rays could detect cavities. This led to the development of X-ray machines and eventually CT scans.
The dental drill has made leaps and bounds over the years. The dental drill was first conceptualized by early peoples in the Indus Valley and consisted of stone or bone blades attached to handles that were hand-spun to remove areas of decay.
It wasn’t until the 1800s that metal drills were developed. These tools had sharpened edges on them so they would cut through soft tissue without damaging nerves.
Then in the 1900s, handheld power drills were created. This advancement allowed dentists to make precise cuts at any angle needed. Today, there are many different types of drills available, from rotary to reciprocating to air-powered. But it isn’t just drilling that makes up the field of dentistry.
There have been advancements in other aspects such as restorative materials like amalgam, composite resin, porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges and implants.
There have also been advances in how we treat patients. For example, today, people can get fillings done while having a root canal procedure performed simultaneously. Or, if you’re missing multiple teeth, your dentist may recommend implant-supported prosthetics instead of traditional bridgework.
There have also been improvements in dental technology. One of these technologies is CAD/CAM software. It allows us to design our custom orthodontic appliances rather than relying on old-fashioned impressions taken during treatment. Another advance is 3D printing; we use this new technology to create models of a patient’s mouths and then print out customized braces.
Modern dentistry can even look at how a patient’s face will develop or how it is developing and make interventions and adjustments to improve development or guide facial development to help ensure jaw, bite, airway, oral and dental health.
At our practice, we focus on dental technology as part of our goal to give patients the most comprehensive and comfortable dental care possible.
In our practice, we use:
Fotana Lasers: These lasers are used for various procedures, including treating dental decay, tooth whitening, crown lengthening, root canals, treating advanced stages of periodontal disease, implant placement, and more! They’re also great at removing tartar from teeth without damaging them or causing discomfort.
Fontana lasers can also be used for aesthetic treatments, including skin-tightening treatments, like targeting sagging skin in the neck, eyes and face to help restore a more youthful appearance.
3D Imaging: Digital X-rays allow us to see inside your mouth in ways that traditional film X-rays cannot. There are several advantages to digital X-rays, including faster processing, improved care and quicker detection of potential problems.
Intraoral Cameras: We also have an intraoral camera that allows us to view areas within your mouth that conventional imaging cannot reach. This is especially helpful when performing cosmetic dentistry such as veneers, bonding, porcelain repairs and root canal therapy.
SonicFill Fillings: SonicFills are made out of composite resin and provide many benefits over other types of fillings. They contain no mercury, which means there’s less risk of exposure than if you were to receive amalgam metal fillings. In addition, these materials bond well to enamel and will not discolor over time. SonicFills are long-lasting, too!
3D Scanners: 3D scanners create three-dimensional images of objects using computer software. The scans can then be manipulated into any shape imaginable. So, for example, it would be possible to scan your smile and recreate your perfect smile design digitally so you can see what your potential new smile makeover will look like or what your new veneers will do to your smile.
Shade Guide Vita: A shade guide helps determine how to match your dental restorations to your teeth. This allows us to seamlessly blend your cosmetic restorations with your natural teeth to give you a complete and natural look.
3D Printer: 3D printers are a vital tool for dentistry because they allow us to print models of your teeth before making changes. It makes it easier to visualize precisely where we need to place implants, crowns, bridges and veneers and gives us better control during the procedure to give you the best results.
Interested in comprehensive, convenient and comfortable care? Call us now to schedule your appointment.