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Mukesh C.Bharti

Dental History:

Tooth Extraction

The history of dentistry is filled with accounts of people having bad teeth. The belief that
tooth worms attack the teeth and destroy it was quite popular in the ancient times and
tooth extraction was often considered as the only solution to the problem. Tooth
extraction was considered as the primary dentistry procedure in past.

They did not really have the technology to do root canals and other dental surgeries in
the past so whenever a person comes to the dentist with a toot decay that is considered
as too advanced for filling; the dentist has no other option but to extract the tooth. Since
there was still no anesthesia at that time, according to the history of dentistry, the
dentists in the olden times use herbs to reduce the pain during these procedures. They
also use herbs to help the wounds from the tooth extraction heal faster.

Dental Extraction as a Form of Punishment:

Although the history of dentistry is focused more on taking care of the teeth, we find
occasional references of teeth extraction as a form of punishment in some of the old
records. The Code of Hammurabi specifically referred to tooth extraction as part of
punishment. The idea of dental extraction is really quite intriguing considering the fact
that our ancestors usually impose more brutal punishments on criminals.
The idea of tooth extraction as a form of punishment leads some writers and historians
to believe that this procedure is done more to disfigure a person than to exact a painful
punishment. Their arguments are actually based on the premise that the people in the
olden times value teeth as a thing of beauty. Note that even before cosmetic dentistry
became popular, people have already taken an aesthetic view on pearly white teeth.
Moreover, perfect teeth in the culture represents good health thus when a person loses
his or her teeth, he is now considered as ugly or sick.

Right up to the, middle of the nineteenth centaury, the status of dentistry throughout the
world remained deplorable. Extraction of tooth was viewed with utmost horror and
considered a murder. The profession was practiced in remote streets and alleys away
from public gaze. In an English dental magazine published in 1845 it was mentioned that
the fashionable doctors among other things,’ not exposed themselves to the possibility of
public of public attack, avoid dental work

In Indian, dentistry was still primitive in nature and benefited of the advancement
taking place in the world elsewhere, did not reach our shores till the beginning of the 20 th
centaury .some foreign dentists- mostly British had earlier settled down in the some
metropolitan cities & big cantonments like Lahore, Banglore, Simla, Peshawar Delhi, etc.
One of such dentists started a flourishing practice in Simla about whom E.J.Buck,
Superintendent of Simla Hill State in 1901 has this to say ,”On a prominent spurbelow
‘Kelvin Grove’ is ‘Rave Wood’ also one of the oldest house of Simla.For many years after
wards it was the property of Mr.O’ Meara,the well known and for twenty years the only
dental surgeon in Punjab. On one occasion Abdur Rehman, the Amir of Afghanistan sent
for him.the joueney to Kabul and back occupied Mr. o’Meara for six months.on his return
Mr. Meara gave his friends interesting particulars of his visit to the court.he greatly
amused his hearers by describing how the Amir required him to extract teeth from his
countries before operating on himself”.
In ancient time Indian did not dental attention, since they hardly suffered from dental
ailments. But the demand for dental treatment slowly picking up, and number of Indians
who had gone to England for dental studies were now returning home with the degree
of Licentiate of Dental Surgery of The Royal College of Surgeons (LDS RCS).There
were others who headed for America, France and Prussia and were joining their
predecessors from UK with qualifications like DDS ( from America),DEDP ( from Paris)
and ZDS ( from Vienna).

Founder of dental education in India:

Father of Indian Dentistry

(Dr.Rafidin Ahmed)

He obtained his B.D.S from University of I.WO.A in 1915 and was a full time staff
at Foresytec Dental University in Boston. He returned to India in 1919 and started
private practice . He founded India’s first Dental College in Calcutta in 1928 from his own
earning and real hard work. The course in dentistry was for one year and changed to
four years in 1935. He was the person responsible for the legislation of practice of
dentistry and with his effort the Bengal dentists act was passed in 1939. He was the
founder member of Indian dental association and was the president for three years from
1945 to 1948. He was behind the drafting of Indian dentist act 1948. He was conferred
the fellowship of Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1949. In the
same year he gifted the Kolkotha Dental College to Govt. Of West Bengal to be run as a
national institute. In 1950 he entered into politics and assumed the charge as a Minister
for Co-operation in West Bengal and won the election in 1952. He was awarded
Padmabhushan in 1964. The great man passed away on 9 th Feb. 1965. Dr.R.Ahmed is
a unique character, a life of inspiration and adventure and the Father of Dentistry in India

Dr Rafidin Ahmed also known as “The Grand Old Man of Dentistry” He is credited
with the first edition of “The Indian Dental Journal” in October 1925,foundation of the “
All India Dental Association” in year 1927,drafting and passing of the Bengal Dentist
Act in 1939,and passing of the Dentist Act in 1948.

Dentistry and Dental Education in India

The history of India as an advanced civilization goes back 5,000 years. Dentistry in some
form has been practiced since the era of the Indus valley civilization. Ancient medical
literatures such as the Ayurveda and Susrutasamhita described treatments of diseases of
the oral cavity and emphasized the importance of tongue hygiene. The first dental
colleges and hospitals in India were opened in 1883. Dr. Rafuddin Ahmed established
the first official, fully functional, autonomous dental institution in Calcutta. This institution
offered a diploma of licentiate in dental science (L.D.Sc.) upon successful completion of
a two-year program. In 1926, the duration of the institution’s program of study increased
to three years for the L.D.Sc. and to a four-year program for a bachelor of dental surgery
degree (B.D.S.) in 1935. The Indian Dental Association was founded immediately after
India gained independence in 1947.


The scheme of examination for the B.D.S. course shall be divided into 4 professional
examinations, namely, 1st B.D.S. examination at the end of 1st academic year IInd at
the end of 2nd academic year, IIIrd at the end of 3rd academic year and IV & Final
BDS examination at the end 4th academic year.

Where semester system exists, there shall be 2 examinations in each year, designated
as Parts I & II of the respective examinations.

The examination shall be open to a candidate who satisfies the requirement of

attendance, progress and conduct as stipulated by the respective University.
Certificate to the above effect should be produced from the Head of the Institution by the
candidate along with the application for examination and the prescribed fee.

I BDS Examination:

1. General Human Anatomy including Embryology and Histology.

2. General Human Physiology and Biochemistry.
3. Dental Materials.

II BDS Examination:

Regulation are the same as far as the I year BDS examination. However, no candidate
who has not successfully completed the I BDS examination, can appear for the IInd BDS
1.General Pathology and Microbiology.
2.Human Oral Anatomy including Embryology and Histology.
3.General and Dental Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

III BDS Examination:

Regulations are the same as for the IInd BDS Examination. A candidate who has
successfully completed the IInd BDS Examination can appear for the IIIrd BDS

1. General Medicine.
2. General Surgery.
3. Oral Pathology and Microbiology.
4. Preventive and Community Dentistry.

Final BDS Examination:

Regulations are the same as the 3rd BDS Examination. A candidate who has not
successfully completed IIIrd B.D.S. Examination cannot appear for the Final BDS

1. Prosthodontics and Crown and Bridge.

2. Conservative Dentistry including Endodontics.
3. Pedodontics.
4. Oral Surgery.
5. Periodontics.
6. Orthodontics.
7. Oral Medicine (Oral Diagnosis) and Radiology.
It is recommended to have a separate examination for each of the above subject.

The teaching of a subject may be spread over one or more terms (one or more classes
of BDS) depending upon the local facilities. However, taking care to see that excessive
load is not placed on candidates during any one year.
Internship: Every candidate will be required after passing the Final BDS Examination to
undergo one year paid rotating Internship in a Dental College.

The All India Dental Association became IDA in 1946. For the past 60 years, the
IDA has been the leading authority in the Indian oral health sector. We have
innovated ways to communicate with the public and the government. The IDA
remains unchallenged in its efforts to promote oral health through education,
patient awareness and advocacy work across the country.

Having 25 state branches and 190 local branches, represents 40,000 dedicated
dental professionals as a member. We maintain the dignity and honour of the
profession and our members. We believe in the importance of oral health for
each and every individual and lead the efforts towards that goal. Through this
website, we have done sincere efforts to provide information of the dental
profession in India as well as the IDA – its mission, vision and philosophy.
Browse through our comprehensive Search for dentist directory, colleges,
university, events and more.

IDA is the close-knit organization of the professional members. All the members
are united under the umbrella of IDA. A Dentist who may be from the remotest
corner of the country is never feeling secluded if he has the membership of IDA.
IDA assures a member an assertive protection, necessary guidance and helps
him to become well versed in the sphere of Oral Health Care.

IDA's Mission

 Prime mission is to bring an ever-lusting smile on a painful face.

 Maintain our undisputed authoritative reputation.

 Maintain unparallel, unique characteristic in the field of Dentistry.

 Extend maximum cooperation to the co-members and member organizations

 To unfurl IDA's flag in each and every corner of the world
 Secure superlative position in every sphere of the oral health care, from
magnitude to efficiency, from people's service to people's satisfaction

 We will focus on a global bond for the benefit of the dental fraternity as well as


IDA is a pro-active member of internationally acclaimed associations such as

these mentioned under, forming a strong alliance on a global scale for the overall
benefit of the dental fraternity and the people of India.
 Federation of Dentaire International (FDI).
 Asian Pacific Dental Federation (APDF).
 World Health Organization(WHO).

Commonwealth Dental Association (CDA).


The IDA is a pillar of strength for dental professionals. Our efforts have not gone
Organised international events:

 13th Asia Pacific Dental Congress, 1988

18th Asia Pacific Dental Congress, 1996
Commonwealth Dental Congress, 1998
World Dental Congress, 2004.

 Drafted the Dentists’ Act, 1948.

 Drafted the National Oral Health Policy for the Government of India.
 Placed dental surgeons at par with the other medical colleagues in
government services.
 Pushed to ban gutka use in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Hosted the National Workshop, 2005: Dental personal resource management

seminar was attended by government officials as well as representatives from
the WHO, state DCI and defence sectors.

When the Emblem is printed or painted in more than one color, the official color
scheme as given in the illustration must be adhered to for the sake of uniformity.

In case of single color printing, how ever, any one color may be used thought-out
the emblem.

The following is the significances of the rationale behind Emblem design which
projects the image of our Association.

 Head of the Elephant: Adopted only in India, by the Indian Dental

Association. Its represents the sagaciousness or thoughtfulness.

 Tusks of the Elephant: They denote the dental profession and were used
as far back as the Egyptian culture * dates, to replace human teeth in the
mouth with ivory. The tusks are the most expensive and beautiful “Teeth”
known to mankind and thus stand for dentistry.

 The Staff of Aesculpius: Stands for the Captor of authority and represents
the professional authority of the Association.

 Serpents entwined around the Staff: In 300 B.C., the God of Medicine and
Healing of the Romans was Aesculpius who used serpents and a rod for
healing. The Greek philosopher, Hippocrates, adopted this as a symbol of
healing. It has since been associated with the medical science. Our
emblem has two serpents entwined around the staff in opposite directions.

 Wings on the Staff: Represent the spread of Knowledge according to the

Greek mythology wherein God Hermes had wings on his legs The emblem
has 6 small and 3 large divisions on the wings on either side of the staff.

The Emblem has 6 small and 3 large divisions on the wings on their side of the
Strategic Future Planning

Our future plans are in accordance with the IDA’s mission and vision statements.
Some key areas towards this end are:

 IDA will make a recognizable contribution to improving the oral health of

each and every Indian.

 IDA will provide value to all its members to maintain a viable professional
 IDA will create a greater sense of unity within the oral health community.
 IDA will foster co-operation with speciality associations.
 IDA will be recognized as the unchallenged national advocate for dentists
as well as for optimal oral health.

We aim to achieve every goal by 2010.

Brief History of Indian Dental Association in USA.

Some objectives were set which laid the basic foundation of the organization.
These were to represent, conduct, coordinate and promote the activities of
common interest of dentists of Indian origin in the USA. Promote friendship
among its members and provide social activities. Develop civic consciousness
and provide opportunities for learning the political process of the organized
dentistry. Organize continuing education activities on the science of dentistry to
be able to provide better delivery of dental care to patients and promote the
dental health awareness for the general public

IDA (USA) has been in the forefront serving the members and protecting public
dental health. We partner with American Dental Association and New York State
Dental Association to achieve this. We believe, providing access to dental care to
the needy is the fundamental right of any citizen regardless of their economic
status. Achieving such goals can be effectively realized, working in unison with
the organized dentistry.

We encourage and mentor junior, middle and high school students as well as
college students to pursue carrier in dentistry. Our young dentists in dental
schools receive guidance, direction and support academically and socially and
are encouraged to get involved in the organized dentistry.

This association has grown stronger in numbers over years. New younger
dentists of Indian origin who graduates from dental schools are joining us and are
taking active part in the governance and other activities of the association. Our
continuing education activities are the pride of our organization. We have
maintained to be an ADA CERP certified provider for past eight years. The
association conducts continuing education activities on a regular basis by
nationally recognized speakers. Since 1985 we have been organizing Annual
Conventions with great success. Tenth Convention of IDA (USA) and the first
South Asian Dental Congress in 1995 was a grand success. Similar
organizations of dentist of Indian origin are in existence in the states of California,
Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and providing excellent continuing
education activities to their members and serving their communities.

A scholarship fund has been set up for the needy dental students in India.
Donations have been made available to dental schools in India in the form of
dental equipment, books and journals. We encourage participation of our peers
and professors from India to our meetings and conventions.

We are committed to serve our members while working with the organized
dentistry. We provide a platform to address problems facing our members. We
encourage younger dentist to play active role in the organization. With your help
we can address most issues and get results. Be a part of us. Be critical if you
think so on an issue. Lets hear from you. We like challenges. We are Americans
with Hindustani roots

Foundation of Dental Council of India (DCI):

The Dental Council of India (DCI) established by the Government of India in 1949 is a
statutory body of the government. It has 6 constituencies such as the Central
Government, the State Government, the Universities, the Dental Colleges, the
Medical Colleges, the Medical Council of India and the Private Practitioners of

The Dental Council of India receives its funds from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,
Government of India. The council also receives nearly 25% share of fees collected by
state dental councils every year from different resources under section 53 of the
Dentists’ Act. The council also receives some funds from other resources under section
10 A of the Dentists Act, 1948, as amended by the Dentists Amendment Act, 1993.

The main objectives of the Dental Council of India (DCI) are given as below:
 Maintenance of uniform standards of Dental Education – both at
Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels. (a) It envisages
inspections/visitations of Dental Colleges for permission to start Dental
colleges, increase of seats, starting of new P.G. courses (as per provisions
of section 10A of the Act).
 To prescribe the standard curricula for the training of dentists, dental
hygienists, dental mechanics and the conditions for such training.
 To prescribe the standards of examinations and other requirements to be
satisfied to secure for qualifications recognition under the Act 1948


No. 30 of 1993
[2nd April, 1993]

An Act further to amend the Dentists Act, 1948

But it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-fourth Year of the Republic of India as
1. (1) This Act may be called the Dentists (Amendment) Act, 1993
(2) It shall be deemed to have come into force on the 27th day of August, 1992

2. After section 10 of the Dentists Act, 1948 (hereafter referred to as the Principal
Act), the following sections shall be inserted, namely:--
10 A. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the
time being in force,-

(a) no person shall establish an authority or institution for a course of study or

training (including a post-graduate course of study or training) which would
enable a student of such course or training to qualify himself for the grant of
recognized dental qualification; or

(b) no authority or institution conducting a course of study or training (including a

post-graduate course of study or training) for grant of recognized dental
qualification shall--
(i) open a new or higher course of study or training (including a post-graduate
course of study or training) which would enable a student of such course or
training to qualify himself or the award of any recognised dental qualification; or
(ii) increase its admission capacity in any course of study or training (including a
post-graduate course of study or training).
except with the previous permission of the Central Government obtained in
accordance with the provisions of this section.
Explanation 1- For the purposes of this section “person” includes any University
or a trust but does not include the Central Government.
Explanation 2- For the purposes of this section “admission capacity”, in relation
to any course of study or training (including a post-graduate course of study or
training) in an authority or institution granting recognised dental qualification,
means the maximum number of students that may be fixed by the council from
time to time for being admitted to such course or training.
(2) (a) Every person, authority or institution granting recognised dental
qualification shall, for the purpose of obtaining permission under sub-section (1),
submit to the Central Government a scheme in accordance with the provisions of
clause (b) and the Central Government shall refer the said scheme to the Council
for its recommendations

Dental School Systems and Entrance

The Dental Council of India (DCI) was established as a result of the Dentist Act of
1948, which was intended to regulate dental practice and promote scientific
advances. DCI is still the premier governing body of dental education in India. Its
responsibilities include the regulation of dental education, profession, and ethics
and liaising with the government to obtain administrative approval for dental
college and higher educational courses. Dental schools in India fall into one of
three major categories: a) government dental school as a part of a government
university, b) private dental school affiliated with a government university, and c)
private dental school as part of a private university. There are currently 185
dental schools in India. Of these, thirty-one belong to Type A and 154 to Types B
and C. In 2003, total enrollment in India for all three categories of dental school
was 12,872. Of these, 1,527 students enrolled in Type A schools, and 11,345
enrolled in Types B and C dental schools. Type B dental schools were more
predominant than Type C. The duration of the dental school program is five
years, of which four years are devoted to didactic and laboratory course work and
one year to compulsory internship rotation. Dental school graduates in India are
awarded a bachelor of dental surgery degree (B.D.S.).

In India, dental school candidates must meet certain minimum requirements to

take the entrance examination. All candidates applying to dental school must be
at least seventeen years old at the time of admission or before December 31 of
the same year of admission. Dental schools in India admit two classes per year,
which begin their education in April and October; consequently, schools must
make quick admissions decisions twice a year. Class size varies from ten to 100.
Applicants must have successfully completed two years of higher secondary
schooling or the equivalent in the areas of physics, chemistry, and biology
(botany and zoology). Applicants must have received aggregate marks higher

than 50 percent in the above subjects in qualifying examinations at a higher

secondary school. According to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
in India, Scheduled Castes are defined as extreme social, education, and
economic backwardness arising out of the traditional practice of untouchability.
Scheduled Tribes are defined as indications of primitive traits, distinctive culture,
geographical isolation, shyness of contact with the community at large, and
backwardness. Potential students qualifying as members of Scheduled Castes
and Scheduled Tribes, which are considered underserved populations, must have
received aggregate marks higher than 40 percent in the above subjects in
qualifying examinations at a higher secondary school. Admission to some dental
schools is also based upon a quota for each caste system.

Students meeting the minimum application requirements may take the entrance
examination to dental school. Applicants to Type A dental schools can take both
nationwide and statewide entrance examinations. Applicants to Type B dental
schools must take only statewide entrance examinations. Applicants to Type C
dental schools must take tests provided by the individual dental school. Both
nationwide and statewide entrance examinations consist of multiple-choice
questions covering physics, chemistry, and biology (botany and zoology).
Nationwide and statewide entrance examinations require one and two days,
respectively. More than 100,000 applicants compete for entrance to Type A dental
schools each year, but only a very small number (1,527 in Year 2003) gain
admittance. Thus, the admission process is extremely competitive. There is no
data available for Types B and C dental schools for the number of entrance
versus application.

Historically Indian Dental School Curriculum has

similarities with Japanese Dental School

Table 1 shows curriculum hours for each subject in India The dental school
curriculum in India, regulated by the DCI, consists of four years of didactic and
laboratory course work study and one year of compulsory internship rotation.
Didactic and laboratory coursework and technical training in the laboratory occur
during Years 1–3. Fourth-year dental students spend 80 percent of their time in
direct, in-clinic patient care and 20 percent of their time in didactic study. Fifth-
year dental students participate exclusively in patient care.
As shown in Table 1, dental school curricula in India. Indian dental curriculum is
similar from Japan curriculum, but the quality of education is quite different,
resulting in a difference of standard of care between the two countries. In India,
most students learn about provisional removable partial denture in the
undergraduate program, but crown/bridge and casting are usually taught clinically
at the postgraduate level in India. Composite resin restoration is the standard of
care in Japan, while amalgam is the standard of care for posterior teeth in India.
Japanese dentistry excels in research in all areas of dental science and
contributes to the global body of dental research. Graduates from dental schools
in India report variations in curriculum emphasis and resulting standard of care
among dental schools. For instance, office bleaching is a part of the curriculum in
some schools in India. Both Indian and Japanese dentists employ two handpiece
systems using either compressed air or electricity with cable wire. The former is
popular in the United States; the latter is popular in some parts of Europe such as
Germany. These differences in systems are confusing for dentists from India and
Japan when they are in the United States. Consequently, some foreign-trained
dentists have had difficulty using handpieces during clinical admission

Table-1 India
Subject Didactic Practical Total

1 General & Oral Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry 185 290 475

& Histology
2 Dental Materials and Laboratory Work 35 30 65
3 General and Oral Pharmacology 40 20 60
4 General & Oral Pathology and Microbiology 125 210 335
5 General Medicine 40 - 40
6 General Surgery 40 - 40
7 Pedodontics 40 50 90
8 Conservative Dentistry, Endodontics & Periodontics 115 295 410
9 Orthodontics 40 30 70
10 Oral Surgery, Local & General Anesthesia 60 70 130
11 Prosthodontics & Crown & Bridge 100 360 460
12 Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology and Oral Medicine 40 - 40
13 Oral Health 30 100 130
14 Other Dental Educational Courses - - -
15 General Educational Courses - - -
16 Clinical Training for Patient_ - 1690 1690
Total 890 3145 4035

Specifications of categories in the professional

examination in India
Examinations in dental schools in India are very important because they are
requirements for dental school graduation and dental licensure. The maximum
score for an examination is 200, and a minimum passing score of 50 percent is
necessary for each part of the examination. As shown in Table 3 , there are
guidelines for examination. For example, a first-year student taking "Material
Used in Dentistry" (PE: Year 1, category 3) engages in theory and
practical/clinical study. The examination guidelines for theory stipulate a written
examination, oral examination, and an internal assessment. The written
examination consists of multiple-choice questions, essay questions, and short
answers. The oral exam is a fifteen- to thirty-minute, one-on-one interview
between an examiner and the student. Both the written and oral examinations are
defined as university examinations, which mean that the questions are formulated
at the national level by high-ranking professors. This system is similar to that
used for the U.S. National Board Dental Examination. The practical/clinical
section consists of both a university examination and an internal assessment. The
university examination is similar to a U.S. state board examination for clinical skill
evaluation. The internal assessment is similar to the university examination, but a
professor of the dental school to which the student belongs conducts the
Table 2. Breakdown of 200 scores in each category in Professional
Examination (PE) in India
Part of Examinations

Theory Practical/Clinical
Various of
Examinations (made
by) (Test Style) Score Score

University examination Written (Multiple-choice 15 75

(nationwide question)
(Essay) 15
(Short answer) 20
Orals (One-on-one 25
Internal assessment 25 25
(each dental school

Score total: 200

Source: B.D.S. course regulations. New Delhi: Dental Council of India, June

World is very ancient comparatively Indian Dental History

Dentistry - Past and Present in ancient time
Dental ailments have remained remarkably similar throughout history. Decay,
toothaches,Periodontal disease and premature tooth loss were documented in ancient
chronicles. The exact time that dental art made its appearance isn't known; however,
there is ample proof of its existence among the civilizations of Egypt, Etruscans of
Central Italy, Assyrians, China, etc. Since Dental History is such a broad field, a few of
the highlights of dentistry will be mentioned in order of importance and chronology.
I. Pre-historic era.
A. At the beginning, life consisted of simple creatures of the sea, which consisted of
masses of protoplasmic cells.
B. By engulfing themselves around a desired morsel, they were able to absorb food.
Later a slit developed the forerunner of the oral cavity and great gut.
C. Much later tentacles and feelers developed around this slit. The tentacles helped to
carry the food to the slit, oral cavity and great gut.
D. Then nature took the outer layer of skin and carried it inward to the oral cavity.
This skin contained tentacles which were the forerunners of our teeth. These tentacles,
also called chagrin, were calcified.
E. Some of these sea creatures developed lungs and became amphibians. Some began
to spend time on land. At first they crawled on their bellies, later they developed limbs
and feet and arose from the ground. Faced with a new environment including a mixed
diet, the creatures evolved into stronger animals made up of hard bone and tough
muscle fiber. Originally three single tentacles fused and became tri-conodonts. These
later changed into teeth very similar to the teeth of the Catarrine Apes (who inhabited the
earth about 40,000,000 years ago in the middle of the Tertiary Period). The descendants
of these apes have the same dental formula as man. Somehow fire and its benefits were
discovered. Cooking made sea food more palatable. Fish and shell fish became the
staple diet as well as nuts, fruits, and the flesh of animals. Due to this food supply many
of the tribes of Egypt and China thrived in the river valleys. Later cultivated grains such
as rice, wheat and barley were added to the diet. If we set the beginning of history at
4000 B.C., toothaches can be traced to the earliest records. In the Egyptian manuscripts
known as Eber's Papyri, which dates back to 3700 B.C., dental maladies such as
toothaches and sore gums are mentioned. Alsoabout 3000 years ago, the Chinese were
concerned about the condition of their teeth and gums. In manuscripts of that period, at
least nine dental ailments were listed and also prescriptions for their treatment. Ancient
petrified skulls showed the presence of decay. In the Giza Pyramids skulls ere found
with evidence of tooth decay. Be it Asia, Africa or America among the Co-magnon
(directancestor of man) who painted walls of caves 20,000 B.C., we find all men suffered
their share ofdental ills.Magic played an important part in the treatment of dental ills, and
people of early ages had oddbeliefs concerning teeth. The Egyptians believed that the
mouse was under the direct protection of the sun, therefore if one had a toothache the
split body of a warm mouse was applied to the affected side. In India the cuspid of
Buddha was enshrined in a famous temple (at Kandi) and prayed to in fertility rites.
Prayers were offered up to saints for the relief of pain. St. Apollonia of Alexandria, 249
A.D., was one such saint. She is now the Patron Saint of Dentistry.
II. Egyptians and Chinese
The first known dentist was an Egyptian named Hesi-Re (3000 B.C.). He was the chief
toothiest to the Pharaohs. He was also a physician, indicating an association between
medicine and dentistry. In the 5th century B.C. Herodatus, a historian, described the
medical art in Egypt: "The art of medicine is distributed thus: Each physician is a
physician of one disease and no more; and the whole country is full of physicians, for
some profess themselves to be physicians of the eyes, others of the head, others of the
teeth, others of affections of the stomach, and others of more obscure ailments".
The first evidence of a surgical operation was found in Egypt. A mandible with two
perforations just below the root of the first molar indicated the establishment of drainage
of an abscessed tooth. The approximate date is 2750 B.C. The splinting of teeth also
was practiced by Egyptians; evidence by a specimen from Cizeh, 2500 B.C. It shows
two molars fastened with heavy gold wire. The Chinese were known to have treated
dental ills with knife, cattery, and acupuncture, a technique whereby they punctured
different areas of the body with a needle. There is no evidence of mechanical dentistry at
that time, 2700 B.C., however. Marco Polo stated that the Chinese did cover teeth with
thin gold leafs only as decorations, 1280 A.D. The earliest practice of the prosthetic arts
was among the ancient Phoenicians circa 500 B.C. Hammurabi, ruler of all lower
Mesopotamia (1760 B.C.), established a state controlled economy in which fees charged
by physicians were set. His low code contained two paragraphs dealing with teeth:
"If a person knocks out the teeth of an equal, his teeth shall be knocked out."
"If he knocks out the tooth of a freed slave, he shall pay one third of a mine."
Teeth were knocked out as a form of punishment among these early people.
II. The Greeks, Etruscans and Romans
A. The Greeks
The contribution of the Greeks was mostly on the medical side. The ancient Greek
Aesculapius - 1250 B.C. - gained great frame for medical knowledge and skill. In time he
was deified. Apollo was listed as his father. Aesculapius originated the art of bandaging
and use of purgatives. He also advocated cleaning of teeth and extractions.
Hippocrates (500 B.C.) was supposed to be a descendant of Aesculapius. Hippocrates
became famous both as practioner and writer on medical subjects. He did not believe in
magic. He stressed nature's role in healing. Hippocrates raised the art of medicine to a
high level. Also in one of his texts (Peri-Arthron) he devoted 32 paragraphs to the
dentition. He appreciated the importance of teeth. He accurately described the the
technique for reducing a fracture of the jaw and also for replacing a dislocated mandible.
He was familiar with extraction forceps for this is mentioned in one of his writings.
Aristotle - 384 B.C. - who follows Hippocrates, accurately described extraction forceps
and in his book De Partibus Animal Colum devoted a complete chapter to the teeth. He
also stated figs and soft sweets produce decay. He called it a putrefactive process
instead of fermentative.
B. The Etruscans
Etruscans (100 - 400 B.C.) in the hills of Central Italy made the greatest contribution in
restorative dentistry. In Italian museums there are numerous specimens of crowns and
bridges which were the equal of many made in Europe and America up until 1870 when
the dental engine was invented. A very unusual specimen is a bridge constructed about
2500 years ago. This consists of several gold bands fastened to natural teeth and
supporting three artificial teeth, two of which are made from a calf's tooth grooved in the
center to appear like two central incisors. Etruscan art, seen at its best in Florence,
reflects some oriental influence but essentially it is their own. Conquered in 309 B.C.,
they were absorbed by the Roman Empire.
C. The Romans
Famous Roman physicians are named below:
1. Celsus (25 B.C. - 50 A.D.) like Hippocrates did not believe in magic. He believed that
Physical deterioration caused dental diseases. For toothaches he prescribed:
a. Hot water fomentations
b. Narcotics
c. Mustard seed
d. Counter irritants
e. Use of the cautery
f. Alum for soft tissue disease
g. Extraction of badly broken down teeth. He recommended filling the cavity with lead
prior to extraction as a means of lessening the chance of fracturing the crown.
h. Gave the technique for reducing fractures
I. Gave first technique for tooth straightening or positioning.
2. Archigenus (100 A.D.)
a.Recognized pulpitis
b.Invented the dental drill to open into pulp chamber
3. Galen (200 A.D.) considered the greatest physician since Hippocrates, was
the first to recognize that a toothache could be:
a. Pulpitis (inflammation of the pulp)
b. Pericementitis (inflammation of ridiculer portion of the tooth)
He classified teeth into centrals, cuspids and molars.
The Romans were not especially gifted in their dental art. They borrowed their medicine
from the
Greeks and restorative dentistry from the Etruscans.
The Hebrews
As for the Hebrews, first evidence of dentistry among the Jews, relief of toothache and
artificial restorations may be found in a collection of books known as the Talmud (352
A.D. -
407). In this collection, mention is made that women were more particular about facial
appearance than were men. It stated that teeth were made of gold, silver and wood. The
worm was blamed for decay. Also stated that gum disease started in the mouth but
ended in the gut. One treatment for abscess was as follows:
Rx: Take earth near the outhouse, mix with honey then eat it.
As for extractions - all cultures expressed anxiety about removing a cuspid for fear of
eye injury.
This superstition continues today. The Hebrew is known for ethics, morals and religion.
Despite numerous Hebrew writings that have survived, there is little written about
The Middle Ages
After the fall of Rome (410 A.D.) the clever and rational approaches of Hippocrates and
6 Celsus had disappeared; magic and superstitious nostrums became accepted cures.
Then came Albucasis, a Spanish moor of Cordova (1013 A.D.). He is considered the
great Exponent of Dental Surgery in the middle ages. In his book we find what is
perhaps the first illustration of dental instruments. They are as follows:
1. 14 scalers
2. Elevators for surgery
3. Cautery
4. Forceps for surgery
5. Dental saws and files for removal of caries besides being a famous surgeon and
competent riter, he was also a greater teacher. He insisted on arriving at an accurate
diagnosis. He believed in the referred pain theory. He accurately described technique for
extractions, with special emphasis on careful manipulation of soft tissue. He also
described treatment for partially luxated teeth.
The Barber-Surgeons
At the onset of the Middle Ages, whatever knowledge had remained found its way into
the monasteries. The monks became physicians and dentists. Barbers had acted as
assistants to the monks. When the pope in 1163 ruled that any operation involving the
shedding of blood was incompatible with the priestly office, the barber took over the
practice of Surgery. The barber surgeons were not the only ones doing extractions,
another group made up of Vagabonds were known as tooth drawers. They plied their
trade in public squares. For awhile then, dentistry was carried on by barber-surgeons
both in France and England. However, in France in 1700 anyone desiring to practice oral
surgery and restorative dentistry had to take a regular prescribed examination.
Founding of Universities and Introduction of Dental Texts
Around 1300 universities like those at Paris, Oxford and Bologna were founded and
important books made their appearance. One such text, Chirurgia Magna, was written by
the famous French surgeon Guy de Chauliac in 1386. In this test he devoted some
space to pathology and therapeutics of the teeth. Chauliac was first to coin the term
dentator and dentists. The English term dentist came from his original terms. Following
Chauliac cam Giovanni de Arcoli in 1400. His opinions and instruments were somewhat
modern. His pelican for extraction of teeth was used for years and his root forceps could
be used today. He advised good oral cleaning habits and to avoid hot and cold
substances and sweet stuffs. He was first to mention filling teeth with gold.
I. Famous Scientists and Their Research
Most of the great surgeons had no knowledge of Anatomy but their teachings were not
refuted until Vesalius, 1500 of Belgium, rebelled and became an anatomist at the
University of Padua, Italy. He freed the mind of the medical profession and laid the
foundation for true scientific research which is the basis of our present day medical
practice. He accurately described the teeth and pulp chambers. Fallopius was another
anatomist, a pupil of Vesalius. He is credited with the descriptions of the dental follicle,
tri-geminal nerve, auditory nerve, LX nerve, the glosso pharyngeal, and hard and soft
palate. He stated that teeth were not true bone.
II. Other Famous Scientists
A. Eustachius (1500) - complete anatomical description of teeth and their development,
the periodontal membrane and alveoli. He was credited with the first complete dental
book, ninety five pages of anatomy, embryology, physiology, blood and nerve supply of
the teeth. In this text, he completely describes the anatomy of the teeth, their
development, the alveolus and the periodontal membrane.
B. Leonardo da Vinci (end of 15th Century) - he described the anatomy of the jaws,
teeth and maxillary sinus. These drawings are the first to accurately describe the
maxillary sinus. However, credit has been given to Dr. Nathaniel Highmore of England
C. Ambrose Pare (16th Century) - he was born in Paris. He was a Barber -Surgeon at
16 years of age and became a member of the College of Surgeons at age 37. He was
the first to describe Palatal Obturators, and transplant techniques, etc. His instruments
though crude could be used today. He was not interested in restorative dentistry. He
believed toothache was due to worms attacking the teeth.
D. Leeuwenhoek (17th Century) - invented the microscope. He described the dental
tubuli and was the first to see organisms of the mouth
E. Malpighi (17th Century) - great Italian anatomist.He was founder of histology and
made great use of the microscope for tissue studies. F. M. Bourdet (mid 18th Century) -
described use of gold for baseplates
G. Purman of Breslau (middle 17th Century) - known for wax impressions.
H. Charles Goodyear (1840) - discovered vulcanite rubber. It was used for denture
bases. This discovery led to false teeth for the millions. Dentures were called vulcanite
I. Philip Pfaff (18th Century) - German. He introduced plaster for pouring up models.
J. E.J. Dunning (1844) - plaster of Paris impressions, first shown in America.
K. John Greenwood (1789) - dentures for George Washington were made by him.
L. Pierre Fauchard (18th Century - 1728) - Father of Scientific Dentistry. Wrote a great
text "Surgeon Dentist". He also wrote a complete work on Odontology in two volumes,
843 pages. He recognized the intimate relationship between oral conditions and general
health. He advocated the use of lead (plombagel) to fill cavities. He removed all decay
and if the pulp was exposed, he used the cautery. He prescribed oil of cloves and
cinnamon for pulpitis. He described partial dentures and full dentures in his text. He
constructed dentures with springs and used human teeth.Gold dowels were used in root
canals filled with lead. He was also known as Father of Orthodontics.He was married 3
times. Only three children grew to maturity, one Jean Baptiste became a famous
comedian. Fauchard died in 1768 at the age of 83.

III. Authors Who Followed Fauchard

A. Robert Bunon (1743) - printed the first dental therapeutics text, dentistry's first
B. John Hunter - "Natural History of the Human Teeth" in 1771.
C. Thomas Berdmore - "Disorders and Deformities of Teeth and Gums" in 1768.
D. Joseph Fox - Pupil of Hunter; wrote text, same title "Natural History of the Human
Teeth".He amplified the work of his teacher and influenced dentistry in England and U.S.
These men on the continent and in England were not physicians or surgeons writing on
the teeth but dentists recording their observations. Their objective: to build this emerging
branch of the healing art into a scientific profession.
IV. Women in Dentistry
The first woman dentist in England was a widow of Dr. Povey - 1719. When he died she
took over his practice.
The first woman dentist in the United States was Emeline Rupert Jones of Connecticut.
She too, took over her husband's practice after he died. In 1854, soon after they were
married, she offered to assist him. He refused, stating that dentistry was no occupation
for frail and clumsy fingers. Secretly she filled several hundred extracted teeth and
demonstrated her skill to her husband. He then let her operate on a few of his patients.
After his death, she took over and practiced for a least 50 years. She was accepted in
both the Connecticut State Dental Society in 1893 and National Dental Association in
1914. The honor of being the first woman graduate dentist goes to Dr. Lucy Hobbs,
1865. She graduated from the Ohio Dental College.
Creighton University Boyne School of Dental Science:
1. Dr. Ellen Kelley - first woman graduate - 1908.
2. Dr. Marilyn Bradshaw - 1949 Last female graduate until:
3. Dr. Cheri Lewis - 1976 - first woman since Dr. Bradshaw.

History of Toothpaste :

Toothpaste was used as long ago as 500 BC in both China and India;
however, modern toothpastes were developed in the 1800s.
In 1824, a dentist named Peabody was the first person to add soap to
toothpaste. John Harris first added chalk as an ingredient to toothpaste in the

In 1873, Colgate mass-produced the first toothpaste in a jar.

In 1892, Dr. Washington Sheffield of Connecticut manufactured toothpaste

into a collapsible tube. Sheffield's toothpaste was called Dr. Sheffield's Creme

In 1896, Colgate Dental Cream was packaged in collapsible tubes imitating

Sheffield. Advancements in synthetic detergents made after WW II allowed for
the replacement of the soap used in toothpaste with emulsifying agents such as
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Ricinoleate.

A few years later, Colgate started to add fluoride to toothpaste.