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The History of Family Dentistry

Dentistry is thought to be as old as 7000 BC. Dental practices have come a long way since then, breaking off into specialties such as family dentistry and the more modern cosmetic dentistry. Smiles of Bellevue / Eastside Smiles specializes in both family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, but the history of dentistry is the same regardless of specialty.

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The first infected tooth to be cleaned is over 13,000 years old, an event many call the first known form of dentistry. Civilizations have been attempting to perform dentistry ever since. The first dental filling was made of beeswax and discovered to be about 6500 years old. Sumerian tests imply that people once believed worms to be the cause of dental problems. Ancient Greek scholars also wrote about dentistry, including a pattern of teeth eruption, treatments for tooth decay and gum disease, and even a how-to for using wires to stabilize loose teeth and fractured jaws. Egyptians continued the wire tradition by treating tooth replacement with gold wire. Family dentistry wasn’t even considered a profession for a long time.

People in the middle ages had their dental procedures performed by barbers or general physicians. The United Kingdom didn’t even require formal qualifications for dental practice until 1859. Modern family dentistry came about in between 1650 and 1800. The French surgeon Pierre Fauchard is known as the “father of modern dentistry.” He introduced dental fillings and treatment of dental cavities, all procedures important to family dentistry. As major advances continued to evolve in the 19th century, family dentistry slowly became the profession it is today.

Smiles of Bellevue / Eastside Smiles is one of many family dental practices around the world. Dental history is long and egregious, but the future of family dentistry is bright. We are excited to be on the cusp of leading family dental practices designed to bring beautiful smiles to each and every one of our patients.

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