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American Revolutionary Dentist?

Paul Revere used these dental extractors for tooth extraction while practicing dentistry in Boston, Mass. from 1768-1775. He is also credited with performing the first recorded use of dental identification in forensic medicine because he was able to identify wires that had been used to install teeth in a former patient, Maj. Gen. Joseph Warren, who was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. (NCP1331)

Paulrevere_3Paul Revere was a renowned silversmith and copper-plate engraver in Boston.  Apparently, Paul Revere also did some work as a dentist from 1768 to 1775.  According to The Paul Revere House, “He not only cleaned teeth, but also wired in false teeth carved from walrus ivory or animal teeth.  Contrary to popular myth, he did not make George Washington’s false teeth.  Fabricating a full set of dentures was beyond his ability.”  He is also credited for developing a rudimentary form of orthodontia.

The following advertisement appeared in the Boston Gazette and Country Journal on August 20, 1770, five years before his famous ride. It reads as follows:

“ARTIFICIAL-TEETH”

“Paul Revere, Takes this Method ‘of returning his most sincere Thanks to the Gentlemen and Ladies who have employed him in the care of their Teeth, he would now inform them and all others, who are so unfortunate as to lose their Teeth by accident or otherways, that he still continues the Business of a Dentist, and flatters himself that from the Experience he has had these Two Years (in which Time he has fixt some Hundreds of Teeth) that he can fix them as well as any Surgeon-Dentist who ever came from London, he fixes them in such a Manner that they are not only an Ornament, but of real Use in Speaking and Eating:  He cleanses the Teeth and will wait on any Gentleman or Lady at their Lodgings, he may be spoke with at his Shop opposite Dr. Clark’s at the North End, where the Gold and Silversmith’s business is carried on in all its Branches.”

Happy Independence Day!

Dr. Steve

About Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve
Dr. Steven Lee graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1985. He was a dental examiner on the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES III). And he is the leader of the American River Study Club. Dr. Lee has been practicing general dentistry in Roseville CA for the last 18 years.

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