Magic played an important part in the treatment of dental ills, and people of early ages had odd beliefs concerning teeth. The Egyptians believed that the mouse was under the direct protection of the sun, therefore if one had a toothache the split body of a warm mouse was applied to the affected side. In India the cusped of Buddha was enshrined in a famous temple (at Kandi) and prayed to in fertility rites. Prayers were offered up to saints for the relief of pain. St. Apollonia of Alexandria, 249 A.D., was one such saint. She is now the Patron Saint of Dentistry.
II. Egyptians and Chinese.
The first known dentist was an Egyptian named Hesi-Re (3000 B.C.). He was the chief dentist to the Pharaohs. He was also a physician, indicating an association between medicine and dentistry. In the 5th century B.C. Herodatus, a historian, described the medical art in Egypt: "The art of medicine is distributed thus: Each physician is a physician of one disease and no more; and the whole country is full of physicians, for some profess themselves to be physicians of the eyes, others of the head, others of the teeth, others of affections of the stomach, and others of more obscure ailments".
Dentistry today is somewhat specialized. The eight specialties are as follows:
* 1901 Orthodontics
* 1918 Oral Surgery
* 1918 Periodontics
* 1918 Prosthodontics
* 1927 Pedodontics
* 1937 Public Health
* 1946 Oral Pathology
* 1963 Endodontics
The first evidence of a surgical operation was found in Egypt. A mandible with
two perforations just below the root of the first molar indicated the establishment of drainage of an abscessed tooth. The approximate date is 2750 B.C.
The splinting of teeth also was practiced by Egyptians; evidence by a specimen from Cizeh,