Getting to the Root of It: The History of Endodontics

You may be surprised to hear that the word “endodontics” comes from two Greek words put together: “inside” and “tooth”. And you may even be more surprised to hear that the first endodontic treatment may go back as far as 200 BCE! That’s right, a skull from this era was found with a bronze wire in one of its teeth, our very first sign of endodontic treatment! Not long after that, we have evidence that people were draining the root canal area to relieve pain and pressure, and even moved into removing and covering the pulp, not too different from what we do today!

Getting to the Root of itThen, in the early 1900s, X-rays and anesthesia methods were introduced to the medical and dental worlds, allowing for a more comfortable procedure for patients, and more accurate work by the dentist. And then in 1943, the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) was created.

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, rapid advances in endodontics occurred. Instruments, materials and treatment methods were standardized, while new instruments were made and refined to streamline the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of endodontic treatment.

So if you are in need of root canal therapy now, you might want to give thanks to those who bravely started the trend with nothing more than a wire thousands of years ago!