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Last updated: 01/12/2010

1530   Artzney Buchlein, the first book written solely on dentistry
1563   Bartholomew Eusttachius published the first accurate book on dental anatomy, Libellus de dentibus
1683   Antony van Leeuwenhoek identified oral bacteria using a microscope
1685   The first dental book written in English, The Operator for the teeth by Charles Allen


1723   Pierre Fauchard published Le Chirurgien dentiste
1764   First lectures on the teeth at the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh by James Rae
1771   John Hunter published The natural history of human teeth giving a scientific basis to dental anatomy
1780   William Addis manufactured the first modern toothbrush


1820   Claudius Ash established his dental manufacturing company in London
1831   James Snell designed the first reclining dental chair
1830s1890s   The Amalgam War conflict and controversy generated over the use of amalgam as a filling material
1839   London Institution for Diseases of the Teeth established
1843   First British Dental Journal was published
1844   Horace Wells demonstrated nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic
1846   W T G Morton demonstrated ether as an anaesthetic
1846   James Robinson carried out first tooth extraction under ether in the UK
1851   Vulcanite, invented by Charles Goodyear, began to be used for denture bases
1858   Dental Hospital of London opened, the first clinical training establishment for dentists in Britain. Medical Registration Act permitted the College of Surgeons to grant licences in dental surgery
1859   Opening of first dental schools in Britain
1860   First licences in dental surgery awarded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England
1871   James Beall Morrision invents foot treadle engine. A tooth coloured filling material, silicate cement was introduced
1878   First British Dentists Act
1879   First Dental Register
1880   British Dental Association founded
1884   Cocaine was introduced as a local anaesthetic by Carl Koller
1890   W D Miller formulated his ‘chemico parasitic’ theory of caries in Micro-organisms of the human mouth
1895   Lilian Lindsay became the first woman to qualify as a dentist in the UK
1896   G V Black establishes the principles of cavity preparation


1900   Federation Dentaire Internationale founded
1901   University of Birmingham awarded the first dental degree in Britain
 Novocaine was introduced as a local anaesthetic by Alfred Einhorn
1907   George Cunningham established the Cambridge school children’s dental institute
1907   George Northcroft establishes the first orthodontic study group in the UK
1921   Dentists Act: only registered dentists were permitted to practise
c 1932   Synthetic resins were introduced for denture bases
1943   First dental hygienists were trained by the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
1947   Founding of the Faculty of Dental Surgery within the Royal College of Surgeons of England
1948   National Health Service introduced
1956   Dentists Act: General Dental Council established
1957   High-speed turbine handpiece introduced
1958   Fluoride toothpaste was first marketed in Britain
1962   Dental auxiliaries qualified at New Cross General Hospital
1967   Lord Colwyn became a hereditary peer contributing to dental debates in the House of Lords
1968   First national dental survey of the adult population (children 1973) in England and Wales. These and subsequent surveys demonstrated enormous improvements in dental treatment and oral health
1981   Baroness Gardner of Parkes becomes first dentist to have a life peerage
1984   Dentists Act: the constitutional powers of the GDC were reduced
1985   The first dental school closed; Royal Dental Hospital
1985   Water fluoridation Act passed
1990   Family Health Services Authorities created and a new dental contract introduce
1992   Formation of the Faculty of General Dental Practice
2006   The new General Dental Services NHS contract introduced