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The Father of Modern Dentistry


Pierre Fauchard (1678 – 1761) was a pioneering French physician regarded as the "father of modern dentistry." He authored the first comprehensive texts on dentistry and made significant innovations in the field.


Born in Saint-Denis-de-Gastines, France, Fauchard joined the French Royal Navy at 15, where he met Alexander Poteleret, a surgeon major specializing in dental diseases. Poteleret encouraged Fauchard to study medical texts, sparking his interest in oral health. During his time in the navy, Fauchard learned that sailors who spent long periods at sea suffered from scurvy, a deficiency of vitamin C. Later, Fauchard became a combat medic as Poteleret's protégé.


After leaving the navy, Fauchard practiced medicine at the University of Angers Hospital, where he began his groundbreaking work in oral and maxillofacial surgery. He adopted the title "Chirurgien Dentiste" (surgical dentist) and invented his own dental instruments, often repurposing tools from other trades. Fauchard was the first in Europe to treat dental cavities with fillings and identified sugar and its acids as causes of caries. His ideas also included holding of the artificial teeth to the healthy ones with wire or thread and first dental braces.


In 1718, Fauchard moved to Paris and found a lack of dental texts in libraries, prompting him to write "Le Chirurgien Dentiste" ("The Surgical Dentist"). Published in 1728, the two-volume book included 42 plates depicting surgical instruments and appliances. Fauchard debunked the "tooth worm" theory of caries, recommended reducing sugar intake due to its link to caries and suggested using amalgams like lead, tin and, sometimes, gold for dental fillings. He also discussed patient positioning and introduced the concept of the dentist's chair light. Fauchard addressed the dangers of using acids to remove tartar and exposed fraudulent dental practices.



Pierre Fauchard died in Paris on March 22, 1761, at the age of 83.


Now, welcome back to the 21st century, where you and your family can have a modern, efficient and effective dental experience by booking your appointment at By The Lake Dental!

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Call us today: Ajax 905-428-2111, Highland Creek 416-284-8282.



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By The Lake Dental is a full service – ‘one-stop shop’ - dental experience, where you and your family will have your dream smile come true. Whatever your dental needs are, we will deliver the right treatment plan for you. For us every smile does matter and our dental team is able to take care of and transform every single one of them.

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