History of Oral Surgery

Oral surgery has played a large role in ancient and modern-day societies alike. Over the years, oral surgery has helped improve the oral health and quality of life of communities around the world. As oral surgeons and dental implant specialists, we believe it is important to revisit the crucial role our industry has played in an effort to appreciate the advances we have made.

Oral Surgery: The Origins

Ancient Oral Surgery

You may be surprised to learn that oral surgery has roots that trace all the way back to between 500-300 BCE, when historians found writings from Hippocrates and Aristotle discussing the practice of everything from tooth extraction to wired jaws and teeth. Later in 1210 CE, a group of barbers in France formed a group of surgeons that were separated by advanced and less advanced surgeries. This group acted as one of the earliest known oral surgery organizations.

Oral Surgery During the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages (14th Century CE), there were no dentists. Instead, there were experts who performed oral surgery. There was no formal training, but rather skills and techniques were shared and passed on to individuals who had the aptitude and hand skills necessary.  They were usually scientists who studied the body and disease processes.  During that time period there were no preventative care measures in place.  Typically, the only solution to dental disease was to remove the problem teeth through tooth extraction, one of the earliest forms of oral surgery. This was done to get rid of the pain that patients experienced.  A forcep-like device was used to remove teeth. Anesthesia  was either absent or consisted of alcohol consumption to dull the effects. Needless to say, the early years of oral surgery were archaic.

The Industrial Revolution brought about further advancements in science and surgical technique.  People became more urban and schools developed to teach science.  In 1840 the American Society of Dental Surgeons was founded.

The Continual Evolution of Oral Surgery

From here, oral surgery continued to grow progressively.  The 1900’s showed great advances in industry and science.  The World Wars and the surgical care for battlefield injuries brought about dramatic advancements in surgical technique and anesthesia. Most of the modern techniques came out of the lessons of that era coupled with the great scientific advancements since World War II. Although the oral surgery field has made many improvements, the constant improvement in materials, methods and nanotechnology hold great promise. What will the future bring?

A more stable and brighter smile!

For oral surgery-related information, contact Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 today.


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