Lots of things have changed in the last 200 years. We drive, we fly, we carry computers in our back pockets. And still, we have teeth. And as long as we have teeth, we have dentists. And while their methods have changed quite a bit, with a little bit of research, we can see that the job description is basically just the same, with just a little change in the language. For proof, we found this ad placed by John Baker, the first recorded dentist in America. We thought it would be fun to take a look at his practice and what you’ll find here at Felt Family Dentistry.

Please Put the Pliers Down

From Dr. Baker:

Operator for the Teeth, etc. begs to acquaint the gentry, that he is now in Boston, at Mr. Joshua Brackett’s in School Street, and will wait on them, receiving their Commands.

Dr. Baker offered his services to the people of Boston and even, apparently, offered his services on a house call basis. Since all his gear fit in a handy briefcase, this was a little bit easier for him than it would be for dentists today. The benefit of anesthesia that have advanced beyond ether and herbs outweigh the discomfort of not having your teeth filled while you are on your couch. And, the x-ray machine is a bit heavy to drag all over West Haven and Layton. But, we have very comfortable seating in our office and toys for the kids while they wait. And we certainly do our best to wait on you and meet all your “commands.” So, Dr. Baker and the Felt Family team have that in common.

He cures the scurvey in the gums, first cleans and scales the teeth, from that corrosive, tartarous, gritty substance which hinders the gums from growing, infects the breath, and is one of the principal causes of the scurvy, and by degrees (if not timely prevented) eats away the gums, so that many people’s teeth fall out fresh.

First of all, Dr. Baker makes tartar sound like an evil scoundrel. He takes this personally! Still, he isn’t wrong. Keeping teeth clean is about more than just fresh breath and a shiny smile. Tartar and plaque can build up and, as Dr. Baker pointed out almost 200 hundred years ago, if not timely prevented, do quite a bit of damage. The Felt Family Dentistry team agrees with Dr. Baker and encourages regular cleaning and check-ups. This helps us stay ahead of problems and avoid more painful procedures in the future.

He fills up with lead or gold those that are hollow (so as to render them useful) and prevents the air getting into them, which aggravates the pain.

Thankfully, lead is no longer an option for fillings. Hooray for progress! Felt Family Dentistry also offers fillings, but you don’t have to worry about any toxic substances (so you can forgive us for the no house call thing) and we even offer tooth colored fillings. Top that, Dr. Baker!

He makes and fixes artificial teeth, with the greatest exactness and nicety, so that they may eat, drink, and sleep with them in their mouths as natural ones, from which it cannot be discovered by the sharpest eye.

Makes and fixes artificial teeth

These are George Washington’s teeth that are on display in his home in Mt. Vernon, Virginia. And no, they are not made of wood. Dental problems plagued him throughout his adult life. Perhaps he should have seen Dr. Baker! Dr. Baker was fairly confident in his skill at creating a fine set of false teeth. But Felt Family Dentistry can equip you with bridges, dentures, and dental implants that are far more convincing than President Washington’s, and you won’t have horse teeth in your mouth, which is another big bonus.

He, having given sufficient proof of his superior judgment in this art, to the principal nobility, gentry, and others, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, and other principal places in Europe.

There were no specific quotations from Kings or Gentry in Dr. Baker’s ads, but we can give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, he did use gold in his fillings! He must have had some happy customers. Felt Family Dentistry has plenty of happy customers as well!

Many things have changed in dentistry and many things have stayed the same. The tools, procedures, and processes have gone through lots of changes, but at its heart, the purpose of dentistry is basically unchanged. Just like Dr. Baker, we are here to help you take care of your teeth so they will be with you for a very, very long time!