The History of Dental Technology

Dental Office Technology

It’s easy to take modern dental technology for granted. These days, everything is so quick and gentle that it’s hard to imagine a time when getting dental work wasn’t quite so convenient and comfortable. In this blog post, we’re going to take you on a brief journey that may make you deeply grateful for the magic of modern dentistry.


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, technology is “…[a] practical application of knowledge.” While we might not think of traditional, non-electric toothbrushes as “technology,” it could be seen as such when you consider technology to be ‘applied knowledge.’ For example, ancient civilizations knew that their teeth needed cleaning after eating their rough diets so they would splay the end of a stick and rub their teeth. While this method probably didn’t help their breath smell all that great, at least they were getting rid of some the plaque that was no doubt building up. After sticks were used but before the modern toothbrush was invented, boar hairs were used in the place of nylon bristles. Yuck!


Ancient toothpaste was a far cry from the minty fresh paste we have nowadays. Past ingredients included powdered ox hooves, eggshells, pumice, crushed bones, oyster shells, charcoal, bark, ginseng, herbal mints, soap, and even salt!

Dental Implants

About 3000 or so years ago, people in China were making dental implants out of bamboo shoved into their gums. Believe it or not, all sorts of cringe-worthy things have been used as dental implants throughout history, including seashells, stones, animal teeth, and even human teeth. But don’t worry—at Elevate Smile Design, all of our dental implants are made from biocompatible titanium and topped with natural-looking porcelain crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Dental Drill

Unfortunately, there was a time before gentle anesthesia and specialized dental tools. In some ancient civilizations, the village bead-maker would also act as the village “dentist”. Because they had tools to drill small holes in their beads, when people got toothaches, a hole could be drilled into the afflicted tooth using the bead-maker’s rudimentary tools. The “patient” was thought to have evil spirits inside their tooth causing the pain, and thus drilling a hole let out the spirits.

Don’t you feel lucky to be born in this era? Schedule a visit at our comfortable office that utilizes modern dental technology!


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