But as scary as modern tools and techniques might seem, they are so much more evolved than the stuff people relied on back in the early days of dental hygiene. In fact, the official profession — including training — didn’t come around until the eighteenth century. Before that, as the American Dental Association explains, folks from the Middle Ages counted on two groups of barbers: “…surgeons who were educated and trained to perform complex surgical operations, and lay barbers, or barber-surgeons, who performed more routine hygienic services including shaving, bleeding and tooth extraction.”
That’s some grim stuff! Scroll down to see the frightful tools that have been used for dentistry throughout history.