100 Years of Dentistry: A Quick Take

history of dentist photo
Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

It’s not an overstatement to say that the last one hundred years have seen an explosion of advancement in the field of dental health. Modern dentistry is the field it is today thanks to the pioneers responsible for the many innovations we saw over the past century.

As dentists and dental health professionals, we here at Dr. Matthews’ office wouldn’t be where we are today without the excellent work of the dentists that came before us. With that in mind, here are a couple of our favorite advancements in dental health and cosmetic dentistry!

The last 100 years have been great for dentistry

Without going on too long about the science minutia behind it, we can safely say that one of the biggest advancements in dental health–and maybe in all of public health in general–in the past century has been the safe and efficient application of fluoride. Fluoride, which has been proven to decrease the amount of intensive dental work needed precipitously, was introduced into public water supplies as a preventative measure in 1945.

It’s hard to imagine, but just under a hundred years ago, tooth-loss was considered inevitable in American dental medicine. Now, thanks in large part to fluoridation, most people can expect to keep most–if not all–of their original teeth to the end of their lives! Even saying that sounds silly, which is due mostly to how outlandish tooth loss seems nowadays. But we here at Dr. Matthews’ office want you to take a moment to appreciate your teeth, and how we can take them for granted. Thanks, in large part, to fluoridation!

Let’s not forget another radical innovation in dental medicine: anesthesia! Like fluoride, anesthetic seems like a given when you’re going in for a dental procedure. But, also like fluoride, just around a hundred years ago, most procedures were done without any anesthetic whatsoever! Even when anesthetics were applied, it was largely local and injected, much like our basic-level anesthetic used today. Inhaled anesthetics weren’t in common use until the 1920’s, meaning a visit to the dentist’s office was even scarier than many perceive it to be today!

Here’s to another great 100 years!

The future of dentistry and dental health has never looked brighter. Thanks to innovations like these, dentists are able to treat patients with an incredible–and historically unheard-of–level of success. And we’re only getting better!

Progress in areas such as preventative treatment and anesthesia mean that treatment will soon be tailored to each individual’s needs, to provide a safe and comfortable level of dental health even in extreme cases. Technologies like 3D imaging and 3D printing offer tailor-made and custom-fit prosthetics for both cosmetic and corrective dental appliances, which is excellent news!

If you’re interested in the best cosmetic dentist Austin has to offer, contact the office of Dr. Matthews today! We use the best technology that dentistry has to offer, giving you 100 years worth of treatment without the growing pains.

Dan Matthews DDS
Dan Matthews Dan Matthews DDS The Park at Eanes Creek,
4407 Bee Cave Road
Building 2, Suite 221
Austin, Texas, 78746
(512) 452-2273
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