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The History of Dental Extractions

Aug 17

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016  RssIcon

The Past & Present To This Dental Procedure

While dental extraction - the process of removing a damaged or decaying tooth - is still one of dentistry's most dreaded procedures, modern dental extractions have come a long way since the old days of dentistry. Today, extractions are performed in sterile environments with precision-crafted surgical instruments, and with the help of local or general anesthetics, patients don't feel anything during the procedure. But it wasn't always this way - and the history of dental extractions reminds us just how far dental technology has advanced!

An Unpleasant Procedure

Before the days of antibiotics, getting a cavity or tooth infection could easily be a death sentence. Without any effective means to control the infection, the bacteria would often spread to other areas of the mouth, or the infection would spread to other areas of the body like the cardiovascular system. This meant that the most effective way to control dental infections was tooth extraction - and, unfortunately, this extraction had to occur without the benefit of modern technology. 
Instruments for dental extraction have been around for several centuries, with one of the most notable being the "dental key," invented by Guy de Chauliac in the 14th century. The key was essentially a long piece of metal with a locking "claw" on the end and a wooden handle. The claw would be tightened over the tooth and the key turned to extract it. Unfortunately, this would often just cause the tooth to break, doing damage to the jawbone and soft tissues in the mouth - and the only anesthetic to be found was a few drams of whisky. 

Modern Procedures

Since then, dental extractions have come a long way. Modern dental instruments, like the specialized forceps we use for extraction, make the process simple, quick, and far less damaging, and anesthetics allow the patient complete comfort during an extraction. Even better, with modern treatments like antibiotics, fillings, and root canals, we can often save the tooth, eliminating the need for extraction in the first place.

Contact Your Margate Family Dentist

Hopefully you don't think you're in need of a tooth extraction, but if you'd like to discuss your dental health or come in for a cleaning, we're always happy to help. Feel free to call us at 954-973-0990 or reach out to us at our contact page with any questions, and you can even request your next appointment online at our Margate, FL office. We hope to hear from you soon, and don't worry - we'll do all we can to make sure tooth extraction, modern or not, isn't in your future!

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