DID YOU KNOW THAT A DENTIST discovered anesthetic? It’s true. Life-saving surgeries were made possible in part by a dentist’s attempts to make his patients more comfortable!
Before the days of “preventative” dental care, painful tooth extractions were a way of life. Here are a few people who helped change that…
Horace Wells Discovered Nitrous Oxide At A Street Performance
Horace Wells was a Connecticut dentist. In 1844 he watched a traveling street show using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to entertain passersby. Noticing that it dulled pain, he began experimenting with it in his dental practice!
The Power To Cure, From A Surgical Perspective
W.T.G. Morton and Dr. Wells were colleagues who experimented together to discover better pain-relief methods for their patients. Looking for something more consistent and powerful than nitrous oxide, W.T.G. Morton started using ether in his practice. The end result of that idea revolutionized medicine, as explained in this short video:
The Early 1900’s Brought Localized Anesthetic
Novocaine, administered to numb specific areas of the mouth, was discovered by German chemist Alfred Einhorn, and was brought into medical use by surgeon Heinrich Braun. Although novocaine is perhaps the most well-known local anesthetic, most dentists today use lidocaine, which is commonly considered less likely to prompt allergic reactions and is more consistent and efficient.
We’re On Dentistry’s Leading Edge For YOU!
Since Wells’ and Morton’s time, methods in patient comfort have been refined and perfected. Our team at Foster Dental Care keeps up-to-date with the latest technologies and techniques to provide the best oral health solutions for YOU, our valued patients and friends. If you ever have any questions about your dental comfort, please ask! We love to hear from you.