9 Inventors Who Influenced Dentistry
(Last Updated On: November 20, 2020)


9 Inventors Who Influenced Dentistry –  Many people fear going to the dentist. However fearful one may be, the experience is not nearly as bad as it used to be. At one time, tooth extractions were the only form of dental care. Often, someone performed the procedures without any anesthesia. Tooth extractions weren’t always performed by a medical professional, either. If a tooth needed to be pulled, a friend or neighbor would yank it out with pliers. The person getting the tooth pulled usually had to be held down or restrained in some way.

Thanks to many inventors throughout the years, dentistry has become much less horrifying. Here, we explore 9 inventors who influenced dentistry and made it a bit more bearable.

1. William Addis

Can you imagine life without the toothbrush? This single dental instrument is responsible for cleaning the teeth. Everyone knows this is the most important part of dental care. William Addis from England invented the first toothbrush in 1780. The invention wasn’t mass-marketed in the U.S. until after 1885.

2. Josiah Flagg

One perk of going to the dentist is the comfy chair. Josiah Flagg, from Boston, invented the first dental chair in 1790. Flagg was a dentist who received silversmith training from Paul Revere. Through the years, the dental chair has had many improvements. Today, dental chairs are sophisticated and high-tech.

3. Levi Spear Parmly

You might not be reaping the benefits of dental floss if it weren’t for Levi Spear Parmly from New Orleans. He first promoted using waxed silk thread to clean between the teeth in 1815.

4. Horace Wells

Horace Wells was a dentist in Connecticut. He was the first to discover the use of nitrous oxide as an anesthetic. He first used nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for tooth extractions in 1844. Horace Wells also discovered anesthesia.

5. C. Edmond Kells

The first to use x-rays in dentistry was C. Edmond Kells from New Orleans. He took the first x-ray of a tooth in 1896. The application allowed dentists to view the interior of a tooth for the first time ever. It wasn’t until the 1920s that dental practices began widely using x-rays.

6. Dr. Philippe-Guy Woog

Those who have them love their electric toothbrush. They can thank Dr. Philippe-Guy Woog from Switzerland for this invention. He invented the electric toothbrush in 1954.

7. Dr. Joseph Muhler

While Dr. Joseph Muhler didn’t invent fluoride, he is credited for developing a safe fluoride-containing toothpaste. Thanks to Dr. Muhler’s work, Proctor & Gamble created the first clinically proven fluoride toothpaste. The toothpaste was developed in 1955 and received the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance.

8. John V. Borden

Most dental patients probably aren’t familiar with a tool called the Airotor. However, if they have had any dental work done, they have probably had it in their mouth. John V. Borden invented this dental tool in 1957 at the U.S. Naval Dental School, Bethesda, Maryland. Also called the Borden drill, the Airotor is a dental drill used for all kinds of dental work, such as polishing the teeth and removing decay.

9. Muhammad Ziaullah Khan Chishti (Zia Chishti)

Zia Chishti, an American-Pakistan investor, invented Invisalign braces in 1997. Instead of wearing a mouthful of metal, orthodontics patients could straighten their teeth with these clear aligners. Besides being virtually unnoticeable, Invisalign braces could also be removed. This made eating and cleaning the teeth much easier.

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

Join the

Stay up to date on upcoming national days and Celebrate Every Day!