Odontophobia is the fear of dentistry. As an adult I reunited with a cousin whom I had not been in contact with for a couple of decades. One of her first questions was did I have dental work performed by Dr. “X” when I was a child. I will only refer to this dentist as Dr. “X” because – well, leave his memory alone. My cousin and I compared notes and reminisced. The brief story is that I remember going to the converted home that was his office and listening to the screams. The screams were from the adults in the waiting room! Perhaps I exaggerate just a bit, but it wasn’t pretty.
When a tooth develops a cavity, the decayed tissue must be removed. The earliest form of dentistry involved resolving tooth related disorders with bow drills operated by skilled craftsmen. Other early implements for performing this work were picks and enamel scissors. Two-edged cutting instruments were designed later that were twirled in both directions between the fingers of an early dental practitioner. The methods used were reliable and effective. Teeth over 9,000 years old with drilled cavities have been found within the Indus Valley Civilization. So since at least 7,000 B.C. people have attempted to ameliorate the pain they experienced from dental disorders. It wasn’t until 5000 B.C. that written descriptions connected to dentistry and tooth decay were obtainable. A Sumerian text from that time described tooth worms as causing dental decay. This idea was proven false in the 1700s.
Hesy-Re is recognized as the first known dental practitioner. He was an Egyptian scribe who lived around 2600 B.C. It wasn’t until 1530 that the Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth—was published.
A French surgeon, Pierre Fauchard…
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