The origin of…Dentist

“Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.” Johnny Carson

Post 69 Dentist

The earliest form of dentistry goes all the way back to 7,000 BC, to the Indus Valley Civilizations, where evidence of treating tooth related problems has been found. Bow drills were used, which were ancient primitive tools also used for woodworking.
Around 5,000 BC the Sumerians believed that tooth worms were the cause of dental issues, blaming them for boring little holes in teeth and hiding inside. Evidence of this belief has also been found in India, Egypt, China and Japan.
In Ancient Greece Aristotle and Hippocrates wrote about treating decayed teeth and gum disease, extracting teeth and the eruption pattern of teeth.
During the Middle Ages the profession of dentist didn´t exist and general physicians or barbers often carried out dental procedures.

Pierre Fauchard (1678-1761) is considered as being the father of modern dentistry. His book “Le chirurgien dentist” (1728), in which he describes the basic oral anatomy and function, operative methods for removing and restoring teeth, replacement of missing teeth, signs and symptoms of oral pathology etc., is very famous. At the time surgical instruments were still primitive and Fauchard often made improvisations of dental instruments by adapting tools from watchmakers, barbers and jewelers. He was an innovator in the field of dental prosthesis, introducing substitutes made of ivory or bone, and dental braces. He was also the person who said the that tooth worm theory was incorrect and showed that observations through the microscope showed there were no worms.

a person whose job is to care for people’s teeth (source: Merriam Webster).

The English dentist, Spanish dentista and Italian dentista come from Latin dens, tooth, and –ist(a), word-forming element meaning “one who does or makes, from Latin -ista, from Greek –ista, occupation/prefession.
Dutch dentist comes from tand, tooth, and arts, dokter. Tand comes from Latin dens, tooth, and arts comes from High German arzt, doctor, from Medieval Latin arciater, from Late Latin archiater, court physian, from Greek arkhiātrós, supreme doctor.

Dentist in other languages:
Dutch: de tandart
Spanish: el dentista
Italian: il dentista


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