FAMOUS DENTAL MOMENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY
This American Revolution Patriot, who is celebrated for his "Midnight Ride" shouting "The British are coming!," took up dentistry when his silversmith was struggling. He was trained by a practicing surgeon that was staying at a friend's house. Revere was skilled in the art of dentures and he advertised his denture services in Colonial newspapers.
John "Doc" Holliday
"Doc" Holliday is known for his gunslinger days in the Old West with his friend Wyatt Earp and their gunfight in the O.K. Corral. Before he became a gambler and a gunman, he received his degree as a DDS and practiced dentistry in Atlanta.
Pearl Zane Grey
American author of adventure and western novels, as a young man, Zane Grey studied dentistry to please his father, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1896. He later traveled to New Zealand and became a champion deep-sea fisherman, breaking numerous world records.
Other Interesting Dental History Stories:
George Washington's Teeth
Always an interesting trivia topic, in his lifetime, Washington has several sets of dentures. They were made of an assortment of materials, including lead, gold, steel, ivory and both human and animal teeth. There is no real evidence that any part of Washington's dentures were made of wood.
William Lowell, a New Jersey dentist, is given credit for the invention of the common golf tee that we use today. Dr. Lowell was reported to have whittled up his first wooden tee using dental tools, calling it the Reddy Tee. He was successful in getting professional golfers to use his new invention, however, it was easily copied, so he actually lost money he had invested in manufacturing it.
Top Secret U.S. Presidential Oral Surgery
During his presidency, Grover Cleveland had a malignant growth removed from the roof of his mouth in secret to avoid a stock market panic, because the U.S. was involved in an international money crisis. The surgery went smoothly, and the dentist was able to design a prosthesis that concealed President Cleveland's resulting speech impediment and restored his appearance.
19th Century Invention Revolutionized the Toothpaste Industry
Before the collapsible metal tube was invented around the 1880s, toothpaste was originally sold in ceramic pots in which the toothbrush was dipped. Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield, a Connecticut dentist, is credited as the first in the U.S. to sell toothpaste in a metal tube after he discovered artists paints in tubes while vacationing in Europe.