Dental Doctoring Throughout History

A.D. 1728 | Tooth worm, part II: French dentist Pierre Fauchard publishes work that helps dispel the tooth worm myth, at least among dentists. The myth persists in popular lore, however, until the 20th century.

A.D. 1847 | Filling the gap: Edwin Truman introduces a natural latex called gutta-percha, made from trees found in Southeast Asia, for use in root canal fillings. Previously, dentists had used anything from silver to lead to asbestos.

A.D. 1965 | Laser power: Researchers find that treatment with dental lasers makes teeth more resistant to decay. Studies since have suggested laser treatment could, in some procedures, help protect teeth, reduce pain and accelerate healing.