A Brief History of Endodontics
The history of Endodontics begins in the 17
century.Since then, there have been numerous advances anddevelopments, and research has proceeded continuo-usly.In 1687, Charles Allen, describing the techniques of dental transplants, wrote the rst English-languagebook devoted exclusively to the eld of dentistry.
At that time, necessity was the mother of invention:experimenting with new techniques, materials, andinstruments, even though very rudimentary, the aim of Endodontics has been to relieve pain, maintain expo-sed pulp, and preserve teeth. Often, these attempts were successful. Advances in the eld of Endodontics have sincecontinued without pause, but especially after PierreFauchard (1678-1761), considered the founder of modern dentistry, who in his textbook “Le chirurgiendentiste” precisely described the dental pulp
anddispelled the legend of the “tooth worm,” which hadbeen considered the cause of caries and toothachessince the time of the Assyrians.
In 1725, Lazare Riviere introduced the use of oil of cloves for its sedative properties.
In 1746, Pierre Fauchard described the removal of pulptissue.In 1820, Leonard Koecker cauterized exposed pulp with a heated instrument and protected it with leadfoil.In 1836, Shearjashub Spooner recommended arsenictrioxide for pulp devitalization.In 1838, Edwin Maynard of Washington, D.C. introdu-ced the rst root canal instrument, which he createdby ling a watch spring.In 1847, Edwin Truman introduced gutta-percha as alling material.In 1850, W.W. Codman conrmed that the aim of pulp capping, which had already been proposedby Koecker in 1821, was to form a dentin bridge.
In 1864, S.C. Barnum of New York prepared a thinrubber leaf to isolate the tooth in the course of lling.
Together with G.A. Bowman, he introduced the rub-ber dam clamp forceps in 1873.
In 1867, Bowman used gutta-percha cones as the solematerial for obturating root canals.
Also in 1867, Magitot suggested the use of an electriccurrent to test pulp vitality.
In 1885, Lepkoski substituted formalin for arsenic to“dry” the non-vital pulp stumps left in the root canalsafter excision of the coronal pulp to prevent theirdecomposition.
At the end of the century, prosthetic restorations,including the Richmond or Davis crown, becameincreasingly popular. Since they required the use of canal posts, they created an ever greater need forendodontic therapy.In 1891, the German dentist Otto Walkhoff introducedthe use of camphorated chlorophenol as a medicationto sterilize root canals.
In 1895, and more precisely in the evening of November 8in his laboratory in the Bavarian city of Wurzburg, the sci-entist Konrad Wilhelm von Roentgen accidentally disco- vered a new form of energy that had the ability to penetratesolid material. Because of their unknown nature, he deci-ded to call these rays “X”.
A few weeks later Otto Walkhoff, a dentist inBrunswick, Germany, took the rst dental radiograph,making a contribution to dentistry that almost equaledRoentgen’s to medicine.
Roentgen’s discovery of the X-ray has been ranked in importance with the disco- very and development of anesthesia by Horace Wellsand William Morton, both dentists, and the discovery of microorganisms and their role in disease by thelikes of Pasteur and Lister.
A true dental pioneer, C. Edmund Kells, is the one who