The early decades of the eighteenth century saw the appearance of a completely new type of surgical practitioner in France: the dentiste. The use of this title was of the utmost significance, indicating not just the making of a new practitioner but of an entirely new practice - the dentiste was, quite literally, making a name for himself. Appearing on the back of dramatic changes within surgery in general, the practice of the dentiste, although it focused only on the teeth, was nevertheless extensive. In addition to extractions, there was also a wide-ranging field of operations on offer, the performance of which had only been hinted at by the surgeon of the seventeenth century. This new sphere of practice represented a radical departure from what had gone before and, as this book reveals, it was all built solidly on sound surgical foundations, with the dentiste occupying a respected position within society in general and the medical world in particular. This book places the making of the dentiste within social, political and technical contexts, and in so doing re-contextualises the purely progressive stories told in conventional histories of dentistry. In doing so, it brings surgery back to its central role in this story, and reveals for the first time the origins of the dentise in the French surgical profession.
'The Making of the Dentiste, c. 1650-1760 can be recommended not only to a serious reader who is interested in the history of the health professions. It can equally be enjoyed by a student or a person who is inquisitive about our past. Even your own dentist may be interested to know how it all began.' Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, Vol. 16, No. 1 '…a valuable contribution to the history of early modern medicine.' Medical History, vol. 44 ’…an interesting historical survey with a strong thesis.’ ISIS, 92: 1 '… King delivers a history that is at once technical, cultural, revisionist, and entertaining…. this book conveys some of the rich potential for scholars and curators to use the resources of the world's museums creatively.' Technology and Culture, Vol. 42
Contents: Introduction; ’Problematizing’ the history of dentistry; Pretending to draw teeth: the mountebank drug-seller of the fairs and markets; Drawing teeth: practitioners below the ladder of ’official’ surgery; Teeth as surgical practice in the 17th century; The fall and rise of academic surgery in the ancien régime and the appearance of a surgical science for teeth; The making of the dentiste technically: Pierre Fauchard and the work of the chirurgien dentiste; The making of the dentiste socially: appearance, ennoblement and the court; Bibliography; Index.
An interest in medicine is one of the constants that re-occurs throughout history. From the earliest times, man has sought ways to combat the myriad of diseases and ailments that afflict the human body, resulting in a number of evolving and often competing philosophies and practices whose repercussions spread far beyond the strictly medical sphere.
For more than a decade The History of Medicine in Context series has provided a unique platform for the publication of research pertaining to the study of medicine from broad social, cultural, political, religious and intellectual perspectives. Offering cutting-edge scholarship on a range of medical subjects that cross chronological, geographical and disciplinary boundaries, the series consistently challenges received views about medical history and shows how medicine has had a much more pronounced effect on western society than is often acknowledged. As medical knowledge progresses, throwing up new challenges and moral dilemmas, The History of Medicine in Context series offers the opportunity to evaluate the shifting role and practice of medicine from the long perspective, not only providing a better understanding of the past, but often an intriguing perspective on the present.