Edward Feinberg, DMD
Dentistry as an Art
Dentistry as an Art
According to Edward Feinberg, DDS, son of the man who refined Restorative Dentistry - Dr. Elliot Feinberg - and who is following in his father’s footsteps, Dentistry is an art.
Although the practice of Dentistry goes back to ancient times, not much developed over the centuries and dental care was pretty grim prior to modern times. The Dental profession owes a debt of gratitude to a remarkable Frenchman named Pierre Fauchard (1678-1761). Known as the father of modern dentistry, Fauchard collected all that was known in the West up to that time, organized the material and presented it in an epic work, published in 1723: Lel Chirurgien dentiste; ou, traite des dents (The Surgeon-Dentist; or Treatise on Teeth). He was the first to practice dentistry in a scientific manner, practice management techniques for the enhancement of patient comfort, and advocate what today we call dental health.
Dentures prior to 1850 generally did not fit well. George Washington’s teeth, contrary to "common knowledge" were not made of wood. They were made from whalebone, and others from hippopotamus. There were springs attached, making them rather uncomfortable to wear. In prior centuries, teeth were made from a variety of materials including - in addition to whalebone, walrus and hippopotamus tusks - china, earthenware, tortoise shell, coral and more. Even human teeth were harvested from battlefields, hence the term "Waterloo Dentures".
An analysis of Civil War skulls (by Richard Glenner, DDS et al; "Dental Filling in Civil War Skull" JADA; Vol. 127; November, 1996) reveals that teeth of that era were filled with a wide assortment of materials: lead, gold foil, tin foil, etc. After Marcus Bull introduced it in 1812, gold leaf was popularly used in American dental restorations.
Real strides in dentistry only became possible with the development of adequate techniques for anesthesia.
In 1934, the first acrylic resin became available to dentistry. Acrylic resins revolutionized denture construction as well as crown and bridge procedures . With that, and the introduction in 1957, of today’s high speed hand drills, the fine cutting tool makes it possible for supplemental teeth to be easily and quickly prepared, as well as to be sculpted keenly with the patient’s aesthetics in mind.
In 1971, Dr. Elliot Feinberg, with help in preparing for publication by Edward Feinberg, published Full Mouth Restorations in Daily Practice by Lippencott, which was translated into four languages. With this text in hand, no longer is it necessary for a patient who has full or partial dentures to feel that every eye is upon his/her mouth when he speaks... other than to see what lovely teeth she has. Sculpting for comfort as well as aesthetics, in the mouth, is an art.