Fun Dental Facts for 4th of July

As many of you prepare for summer cookouts, time with family, and festive events for this 4th of July holiday, we wanted to share some fun and interesting dental facts that date all the way back to the year of independence, 1776.

  • 1768-1770 The infamous, Paul Revere, placed advertisements in a local newspaper offering his services as a dentist. A few years later, Revere verifies the death of his friend by identifying a bridge he constructed for him. This was the first known case of post-mortem dental forensics.
  • 1789 A Frenchman by the name of Nicolas Dubois de Chemant received the first patent for porcelain teeth.
  • 1790 An American dentist, Josiah Flagg, constructed the first chair made for a dental patient complete with an adjustable headrest and an arm extension to hold dental instruments.
  • 1825 Porcelain teeth began to be manufactured commercially.
  • 1832 The first luxury reclining dental chair was invented by James Snell.
  • 1833-1850 Two brothers from France, the Crawcours’, introduced amalgam filling material for cavities to the United States.
  • 1846 A dentist named William Morton conducted the first successful public demonstration of the use of anesthesia for surgery.
  • 1859 The American Dental Association (ADA) was formed by twenty-six dentists that met at Niagara Falls.
  • 1866 The first women to earn a dental degree was Lucy Beaman Hobbs. She graduated in 1866.
  • 1871 The first patent for an electrical dental engine (self-contained motor and hand piece) was given to George F. Green.
  • 1890 After a dentist, Willoughby Miller, wrote a book on micro-organisms of the mouth, it sparked an interest in oral hygiene and started a movement to promote regular brushing and flossing world-wide.
  • 1895 The first dental x-ray of a living person was taken in the US by a prominent dentist in New Orleans, C. Edmond Kells.
  • 1917 The first dental hygiene license was received in Connecticut by Irene Newman.
  • 1937 The first dental screw implant was placed.
  • 1938 The first toothbrush made with synthetic bristles (nylon) appeared on the market for purchase.
  • 1945 Cities in New York and Michigan began water fluoridation by adding sodium fluoride to their public water systems.
  • 1950 The first toothpaste containing fluoride was placed on the market.
  • 1960 Lasers were developed, produced, and approved for soft tissue work such as when treating periodontal disease.
  • 1990 New restorative materials were introduced beginning an era of cosmetic/esthetic dentistry. These tooth colored materials increased use of crowns, veneers, etc.


We hope you enjoyed these fun facts dating back to when our country found its independence. We wish all of our patients, visitors, and staff a great and healthy holiday! HAPPY 4th!

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