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The Dentist - World's Oldest 'Honorable' Profession

A brief history of the world of dentistry including some information about a famous dentist and how the world of medicine has changed since the earlier days of the profession.

The oldest “honorable” profession around very well may have been the profession of dentistry. There is some solid evidence that the world of dentistry existed as far back as 7000 BC. And some of the earliest drill work done on infected or decayed teeth may have been done by craftsmen who were actually beadsmen by trade. Indeed it seems to have been a duel career for many a doctor for hundreds of years as early practitioners were just as often barbers on the side as they were general physicians.

It wasn’t until 1680 that the world of modern skill began to develop. Up until this point tooth decay was believed to have been caused by a multitude of things including a “tooth worm” instead of a basic lack of oral hygiene and tooth care. This all began to change though as modern knowledge began to advance.

The father of dentistry is credit to be a French man named Pierre Fauchard who is credited with many things that helped move the world into more modern times including the invention of the first fillings and artificial teeth as well as the insightful knowledge tooth decay was probably caused by sugary foods and not the dreaded “tooth worm” that earlier dentist believed caused tooth decay.

Perhaps one of the more famous dentist though was one who actually didn’t contribute much to the profession of dentistry per say, but died with some glamour of the old west attached to his name and his profession by trade. Old Doc Holiday, who’s proper name was actually John Henry Holiday was a gambler, a gunfighter and a dentist most notably known for his association with Wyatt Earp and the shootout at the O.K Corral in October of 1881. But it wasn’t a shootout that ultimately killed the good doctor. Doc Holiday was diagnosed with tuberculosis which he likely contracted in the early course of his profession, and ultimately ended up killing him in 1887 at the age of thirty-six.

Today, the world of oral hygiene may not hold the glamour of the old West like it did in Doc Holiday’s dayFree Articles, but it is by far a safer profession guarded against the spread of disease by modern day health practices. Today your dentist doesn’t have to worry about contracting any disease from patients including more modern but just as deadly diseases such as HIV.

And when you need a care provider today you can open wide with some assurance that your doctor is a skilled professional with four years of dental school under their belt who probably does not cut hair on the side or get into gunfights on his lunch hour.

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