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History
Historical evidence proves that dentistry started around the areas of China,
Egypt, India, Etruscans of Central Italy, Assyrians, and Japan.
(The great Sung landscapist Li T’ang depicts a country doctor cauterizing a patient’s
arm by burning it with the powdered leaves of an aromatic plant. The treatment is
called Moxibustion , which is widely used along with acupuncture for treatment such as relieving toothache.)
DENTAL HISTORY HIGHLIGHTS IN
CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

2700 BC                  Chinese used acupuncture to treat pain associated with tooth decay.
(The great Sung landscapist Li T’ang depicts a
country doctor cauterizing a patient’s arm by burning
it with the powdered leaves of an aromatic plant. The
treatment is called Moxibustion , which is widely
used along with acupuncture for treatment such as
relieving toothache.)
300- 500 BC            Toothpaste was used as long ago as 300-500 BC in both China
                                 and India. decay.
* Chewstick for cleaning teeth was apparently
borrowed from the Chinese and Babylonians.

2nd Century A.D      Chinese used arsenic to treat decayed teeth ( probably to kill the
                                 pulp and relieve the pain of toothache ) .
A.D 659                    Chinese developed a type of silver amalgam for filling more than a
                                 thousand years before dentists in the West .  
Li Shih-Chen

“Silver Paste”is mentioned in the material medica of Su Kung (A.D 659).

During the Ming period, Liu Wen-t’ai (1505) and Li Shih-Chen (1578) discuss its formulation: 100 parts of mercury to 45 parts of silver and 900 parts of tin. Trituration of these ingredients produced a paste said
to be as solid as silver.

2nd Century A.D      Chinese used arsenic to treat decayed teeth ( probably to kill the
                                 pulp and relieve the pain of toothache ) .

2nd Century A.D      Chinese used arsenic to treat decayed teeth ( probably to kill the
                                 pulp and relieve the pain of toothache ) .

Twelfth Century       Other early writings indicate that full dentures were being onstructed .

2nd Century A.D      Chinese used arsenic to treat decayed teeth ( probably to kill the
                                   pulp and relieve the pain of toothache ) .

                                   When Marco Polo traveled to China in 1270s, he found that Chinese have
                                   the custom of covering their teeth with thin piece of gold plates.

2nd Century A.D      Chinese used arsenic to treat decayed teeth ( probably to kill the
                                 pulp and relieve the pain of toothache ) .

A.D 1490s                The toothbrush as we know it today, with the bristles perpendicular to the           
                                 handle, was invented by the Chinese.

                                 The bristles were actually the stiff, coarse hairs taken from the back of a
                                 hog's neck and attached to handles made of bone or bamboo.
These beautiful Chinese toilet sets of silver and ivory include toothpicks as
well as tweezers and ear scoops
Oral Medicine

300 B.C.                   Tongue examination was first described in the Nei Ching (Canon of Medicine).
                                 The technique used today remains essentially unchanged: color, coating, and 
                                  moistness of the tongue are all carefully noted as an aid to diagnosis. Changes
                                  in the appearance of the tongue are believed to reflect disease and to indicate
                                  the severity and suggest prognosis of the condition.

A.D 25- 220              Hua Shou ( a great diagnostician), in his commentary
                                 on the Nan Ching  described the whitish spots in the
                                 mouth that are the premonitory symptom of measles.
11 th Century         T’ing To-t’ung and Yu Shu described the entire
                                 process of mastication and deglutition.
255- 206 B.C.           Cleft lip repair was described in an ancient monograph during the Ch’in dynasty.
                                 (The earliest report of such surgery anywhere in the world)
17 th A.D                 Chinese surgeons were familiar with many diseases of the mouth and throat and
                                undertook treatment of such conditions as tonsillar abscesses and eptheliomas of
                                the lip.
18th Century         Further advances were made in understanding oral disease and oral anatomy.
                               Between 1784 and 1826, Chao wen-tsin compiled a major work on surgery in
                               which numerous instruments for operations in the mouth were depicted.

                               In 1822, an important medical treatise ( Illustrated Notes of Symptoms and
                               Treatment in Laryngology) contained an extensive description of oral anatomy).
                               It contains a detailed description of the oral structures and defines the division
                               between the oral cavity and the pharynx. The work also includes articles on mouth
                               and throat abscesses as well as tumors of the
Oral Medicine

Acupuncture          More than 360 pointson the surface of the body that are thought by the Chinese
                                to be directly linked with the internal structures have been charted. A number of
                                these points - 116 in all - are believed to be connected with the teeth and other
                                oral structures, and acupuncture treatment of oral ailments has proven singularly            
                                effective. It is used widely in multiple tooth extractions as well as in the  treatment
                                of gingivitis, stomatitis, and glossitis.
Moxibustion          Moxibustion is used widely, along with acupuncture, for
                                treatment of toothache and other oral ills.

                                Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the
                                burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. Suppliers
                                usually age the mugwort and grind it up to a fluff; practitioners burn the fluff
                                or process it further into a stick that resembles a (non-smokable) cigar.
                                They can use it indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or sometimes burn it
                                on a patient's skin. The burning of moxa or other substances on the skin to
                                treat diseases or to produce analgesia. The purpose of moxibustion, as with
                                most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood,
                                stimulate the life energy or qi, and maintain general health.
Oral Medicine
ADA website
Malvin E. Ring, DDS. Dentistry: An Illustrated History. Mosby- Year Book.