Many researchers believe that a man by the name of Hesy-Re, an Egyptian scribe, was the first known dentist around 2600 B.C. Take a look at the timeline below to learn how the practice of dentistry has evolved over the ages. 

500-1000

During the early Middle Ages in Europe, medicine, surgery and dentistry were practiced by monks because they were thought to be the most educated people of the time.
 

1210

A Guild of Barbers was started in France. They were split into two groups: surgeons who were trained to perform difficult dental procedures and lay barbers (also known as barber-surgeons) who usually performed more routine oral hygiene procedures.
  

1400s

Lay barbers were no longer allowed to practice surgery.
 

1723

Dr. Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon, is named the Father of Modern Dentistry.

1760

Dr. John Baker from England was the earliest trained dentist to practice in the United States.

Dr. Issac Greenwood was the first American-born dentist. Later, his son, Dr. Jon Greenwood, became one of George Washington’s dentists.
  

1790s

Dr. Josiah Flagg, a well-known American dentist, designed the first dental chair. He added an adjustable headrest to a wooden chair and an arm extension to hold dental instruments.
   

1801

Richard Skinner’s book, Treatise on the Human Teeth, was the first dental book published in the United States.
 

1840

Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris established the world's first dental school, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery.

1859

Twenty-six dentists formed the American Dental Association (ADA).

1866

Dr. Lucy Beaman Hobbs graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, becoming the first woman to earn a dental degree.

1868

The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) was established to serve the public by promoting the art and science of dentistry.

1880

Twenty-eight dental schools were established by this year.

1895

Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist, discovered the X-ray. A year later, New Orleans dentist, Dr. C. Edmond Kells, was the first dentist to take an X-ray of a living person in the United States.

1940

22,000 dentists served in World War II.

1958

A fully reclining dental chair was invented.

1960s

Lasers began being used in dentistry.

Today

Modern day dentistry has come a long way, as have all the tools and techniques used to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Visiting the dentist is a pleasant and rewarding experience that is crucial for good oral health.

To learn about the correct way to brush your teeth visit the Brushing & Flossing section.