HISTORY OF DENTISTRY
Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, dating back to 7000 B.C. with the Indus Valley Civilization. However, it wasn’t until 5000 B.C. that descriptions related to dentistry and tooth decay were available. At the time, a Sumerian text described tooth worms as causing dental decay, an idea that wasn’t proven false until the 1700s!
In ancient Greece, Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about dentistry, specifically about treating decaying teeth, but it wasn’t until 1530 that the first book entirely devoted to dentistry—The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth—was published.
By the 1700s, dentistry had become a more defined profession. In 1723, Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon credited as the Father of Modern Dentistry, published his influential book, The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth, which for the first time defined a comprehensive system for caring for and treating teeth. Additionally, Fauchard first introduced the idea of dental fillings and the use of dental prosthesis, and he identified that acids from sugar led to tooth decay.
In 1840, the first dental college (Baltimore College of Dental Surgery) opened, establishing the need for more oversight. In the United States, Alabama led the way by enacting the first dental practice act in 1841, and nearly 20 years later, the American Dental Association (ADA) was formed. The first university-affiliated dental institution, the Harvard University Dental School, was founded in 1867.
By 1873, Colgate had mass produced the first toothpaste, and mass-produced toothbrushes followed a few years later.
Dentistry: Bangladesh Perspective
Dhaka Dental College was established as a unit of Dhaka Medical College in 1961. M.M Haque was the 1st principal and administrator of Dhaka Dental College at that time. At the beginning, there were only five students and no teacher. After 3 months Dr. A.H. S. Rahman from the Punjab region of India joined the college. In 1965 the five students obtained BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) degrees from Dhaka University.
Between the establishment of Dhaka Dental College in 1961 and 1980 there was no remarkable development of dentistry in Bangladesh. There were a few modern facilities and technologies for dentistry. However, in early 1980 there was a remarkable improvement in the field of dental education, research and treatment due to foreign scholarships offered by the Japanese government and supported by other organizations of Japan. After 1980 many dentists took the Ph.D. and other post−graduate degree from Japan and other countries. Thus, a new era of Bangladesh dentistry was started at that time.
Due to the scarcity of funds in the public sector, it is necessary for the private sector to initiate the development of the health sector of Bangladesh. It has been proven over the years that it is almost impossible for the government alone to implement a well−structured policy for its huge population. In this context, it becomes imperative for the government to consider the magnitude of the problem. Since 1994, the government has been encouraging the private sector to share the burden and help improve the health services in the country. Responding to changes in government policy, many non−government medical colleges and hospitals have been established in the past decades and are in the process of being set up. However, the expansion in the area of dentistry was still far below the desired level. In this context, University Dental College started their 1st BDS batch under Darul Ehsan University but this university failed to continue the course. On 20th April of 1995 two dental college named “Pioneer Dental College” & “University Dental College” obtained permission from the government and affiliated with University of Dhaka and the private sector starts.
Our Dental Unit:
In 2016, our dental unit was established as a wing of National Medical College with One professor, one assistant professor and one lecturer with 10 BDS students. Now our 5th batch is running with 17 teachers and 20 students.
6th March, World Dentist Day
In 1790, on this day an American dentist John Greenwood served as a personal dentist of George Washington's who had invented the first known dental foot engine. Dentist’s Day is celebrated on March 6 of every year. Dentist’s Day or National Dentist’s Day is a day to celebrate dentists all over the world and to honor their efforts to keep us smiling and healthy. It is also a day to raise awareness about dentistry. Hence the people will know more about how to care for their teeth. Raising awareness also encourages people to avoid not going to the dentist for a checkup. Hence National Dentist’s Day is a day to say “Thank You” to dentists and to show appreciation for their efforts.