2017-10-12 / Guest Column

VIEWS ON DENTAL HEALTH

A Little Dental Trivia
GARY S. RAFAL, D. D. S.

How about a little dental trivia? History books rarely mention the fact that Paul Revere was a practicing dentist. A student of John Baker, the first English dentist to come to America, Paul not only carved false teeth from ivory but concocted a dentifrice that contained abrasive substances and various mixtures, such as cuttlebone, brown-sugar-candy, saltpeter and gunpowder, butter and crumbs. We don’t know if it sold too well.

How far back does the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) go in the annals of dentistry? In 1884, Dr. Horace Wells, an American dentist, demonstrated the properties of nitrous oxide by using it on himself while having his own tooth extracted.

How much dental care is needed today? It has been estimated that if every dentist spent 24 hours a day, every day of the year, just filling cavities, there would still be one billion cavities unfilled in the United States.

The office of Gary S. Rafal is located at 9915 Seaview Avenue. For an appointment, call 718-763-7799.

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