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It’s a fact: dentistry originated over 14,000 years ago. It has certainly had quite a bit of time to progress, but while most of those years were relatively stagnant, the 1800s was an age of great scientific and technological progress. Here’s a brief sketch of important events in dentistry in the 19th century:

First, let’s talk about economics. In 1825 the White Dental Manufacturing Company manufactured and sold affordable porcelain teeth, effectively establishing and dominating the market for the rest of the century. Then in 1833, the French Crawcour brothers introduced amalgam filling material to the U.S. However, their sketchy business practice sparked a controversy about the safety of metal fillings.

Advances in dental education and knowledge increased exponentially in this century. The world’s first dental school, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, was founded in 1840 where the first Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree was established. In 1859, the American Dental Association (ADA) was founded in Niagara Falls, New York. In 1890, Willoughby Miller, an American dentist, wrote a book describing the microbial causes of tooth decay, launching a worldwide movement in regular tooth-brushing and flossing habits. Finally, in 1899, Edward Hartley Angle classified a variety of malocclusions, creating a foundation for orthodontics.

Dental technology saw great advances in the latter half of the 1800s. In 1871, James B. Morrison patented the first factory-made foot-treadle dental engine, enabling dentists to cut enamel and dentin smoothly and delicately. During the 1880s, the collapsible metal tube gradually replaced toothpaste sold in boxes, bottles or pots. And in 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist, discovered the x-ray, which was quickly adapted into the dentistry field.

Looking to experience modern dentistry? Call 360-464-2099 to reach Dr. Kenneth Hancock and his team at Kenneth Hancock DDS in Olympia, Washington.