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5 Dental Innovations We All Take For Granted

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Dentistry has evolved from a trade into a regulated profession over the last 150 years. There are many inventions and advancements which have contributed to the development of the field. It was once something only the upper classes of Western society could afford, but now it’s effect has transformed the daily lives of millions of people worldwide.

 

1. Anaesthesia – 1846

 

In 2013, 276 million cases of tooth pain, as a result of dental caries, were reported worldwide. Dental pain is one of the most common types of pain, so it’s no wonder that the American dentist, Dr Thomas Green Morton, used ether as a general anaesthesia for tooth extractions. Morton’s success translated into the use of anaesthesia in the whole of medicine and the development of every type of modern medical anaesthesia we use today.

 

2. Toothpaste – 1890s


The use of fluoridated toothpaste has hugely changed the way people clean their mouth, forever. But did you know that toothpaste was so in demand in the UK after World War II, that on September 22nd 1955, the UK’s first ever television advertisement aired at 20:12…. And it was an advert for toothpaste!

The advert lasted for one minute and TV Presenter Alex Macintosh explains the benefits of toothpaste, saying the sensation of toothpaste is a “tingle of health”.

 

3. ‎Water Fluoridation – 1951

 

Over decades in the early 1900s the American dentists Dr Frederick McKay & Dr Greene Vardiman Black established that the mottled enamel found in Colorado school children was caused by high levels of Fluoride in the water supply.

In 1925 the UK dentist Dr Norman Ainsworth discovered a statistical association between the mottling of enamel and a lower caries risk. This started one of the largest public health initiatives of the 20th Century. After it was proven that water fluoridation is effective in preventing dental caries, in 1951 water fluoridation became an official US Public Health Policy. By 1960, 50 million people were receiving fluoridated water in the US.

 

4. The Toothbrush – 1780

 

William Addis is thought to have been the first person to mass produce toothbrushes in England. He was jailed for causing a riot in 1770 and was given a rag with soot & salt to clean his teeth. Finding this displeasing, he saved a bone from a meal, drilled holes in it and glued tufts of bristles to the holes. After leaving jail Addis became rich due to his invention. The company Wisdom Toothbrushes is the descendent of the company founded by Addis over 200 years ago!

The toothbrush could (arguably) be the best invention ever, ranking first as the invention American adults could not live without. (Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, 2003)

 

5. Personal Protective Equipment Laws – 1974

 

It was only after the Health & Safety Work Act of 1974 that wearing Personal Protective Equipment was first legally addressed in the UK, and in laws put into place in 1992 meant it was enshrined in legislation. Previously, dentistry was commonly practiced without gloves! Ansell developed the first disposable medical gloves in 1965 and by the mid-1990s the Nitrile gloves dentists commonly use today arrived on the market.

 

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Moments From The Office That Sum Up Your Day On Clinics

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When your master GP fits the apex perfectly


When the lab work comes back and nothing fits as it should then you realise you have to re-do all the impressions 


Seeing that you’ve fallen short of your UDA target 


How you think when you’re giving better diet advice, 


When the patient actually listens to your OHI and now their plaque score is <10%

Remember have you had to apply for your performer number? 


When you just nod and agree to every thing your clinical partner says 


So water fluoridation could stop tooth decay as it’s completely preventable? 


Seeing your patients outside of the practice 


Remembering to pay your ARF and realising it’s just going to increase for no reason again 


When you and your nurse are in sync and treatment just flows 


 

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dentistry

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1. Originally dental care was free to all when the NHS was set up 70 years ago

2. The 3 streams of dental care made available in 1948 are still going today ( General practice, hospital and schools)

3. When costs were first introduced in the NHS, dental treatment was charged at a flat rate of £1

4. The first dental degree awarded by any British university was by the University of Birmingham in 1901

5. Cocaine was originally used as an anaesthetic for tooth related pain in 1884

6. The first ‘modern toothbrush’ was designed and created by William Addis in 1780

7. In 1921 the Dentists Act was published permitting only registered dentists to practise.

8. Fluoride toothpaste came to Britain in 1958

9. The first dental contract was introduced in 1990 by the family health services

10. Lillian Lindsay was the first woman in the UK to qualify as a dentist.

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9 Trump Gifs That Summarise Your Day On clinics

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1. When you give your treatment plan to your tutor to confirm

2. When the coronal aspects fractures whilst accessing during your endo.

3. Selecting the right shade be like

4. When you try to describe your crown prep

5. When you do you’re first surgical extraction and your tutors asks “How’s it going?”

6. Then the you actually tell your tutor about the extraction

7. When your patient talks to you about their cat, last holiday to somewhere in europe, being gluten free and crossfit whilst you just sit there like…

8. When you finish seeing all your patients and get to leave at 3

9. When your tutor asks you anything

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