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Dentistry in the Middle Ages: the dangerous practice of barbers

Imagine being in the Middle Ages, with a toothache and not knowing where to turn. Back then, barbers not only cut hair and shaved beards, they were also in charge of extracting teeth and treating oral and dental diseases. Can you imagine your teeth in the hands of someone without solid medical knowledge? This is the history of dental practice in the Middle Ages, which evolved into the modern dentistry that we know today



In the Middle Ages, the figure of the barber was much more than just cutting hair and shaving beards. Barbers were also responsible for other tasks, such as extracting teeth and treating dental diseases.


At the time, there was a big difference between the medicine practiced by physicians and that practiced by barbers. Physicians were considered of higher rank and education, and their practices were based on theoretical knowledge and the use of herbs and medicines. On the other hand, barbers were considered manual laborers, and their knowledge was based on experience acquired over the years.


In the case of dental diseases, people used to go first to barbers for treatment. Barbers used specific tools to remove teeth, such as tweezers and pliers. Often, the procedure was not exactly painless and could even result in infections and complications.


Despite this, barbers enjoyed a certain prestige in the health field. However, their practice was condemned by health and religious authorities, as it was considered that they could spread disease through unhygienic practices.


Despite this, barbers enjoyed a certain prestige in the area of health. However, their practice was condemned by health and religious authorities, as it was considered that they could spread disease through unhygienic practices.


Despite the dangers and risks associated with the practice of dentistry and the extraction of teeth by medieval barbers, it is undeniable that at the time it was a key tool for relieving pain, "preventing infection" and helping those who, at the time, suffered from diseases related to the teeth and mouth.


However, the limited training of barbers, the lack of proper hygiene and, more importantly, the lack of sound medical knowledge in general, made the practice a dangerous and potentially harmful operation for patients.


It was not until the 18th century that medical practices were separated from those of the barber's trade. At the same time, greater control was placed on medical training and practice under the supervision of the health authorities and new laws and ordinances were established, which prohibited barbers from performing dental and medical functions.


Over time, the evolution of medical science and the understanding of dental diseases illuminated the importance of a scientific and rigorous education for the practice of dentistry. This led to the formation of specialized physicians and dentists who are rigorously educated in both the scientific practice of dentistry and the new technological advances that have transformed this area of medicine.


As we move into the 21st century, the practice of dentistry has undergone the greatest technological and educational transformations in history. From advances in the manufacture and development of dental materials, to new high-tech instruments and facilities, to more sophisticated and refined surgical techniques that continue to improve on a daily basis.


Thus, today, dentists are considered to be highly trained medical professionals with great scientific knowledge, enabling them to diagnose, treat and prevent a wide variety of dental and oral diseases. Preventive and maintenance actions such as brushing and regular dental cleanings are the result of evolution and progress toward modern dentistry.


Thus, today, dentists are considered to be highly trained medical professionals with great scientific knowledge, which allows them to diagnose, treat and prevent a wide variety of dental and oral diseases. Preventive and maintenance actions such as brushing and regular dental cleanings are the result of evolution and progress toward modern dentistry.


In light of 21st century medical advances and technology, we never imagined that in the Middle Ages, the barber played such an important role in people's health, including tooth extraction and treatment of dental diseases. But despite this, his practice, although condemned, is part of the history of medicine and reminds us how far we have come as a society to improve people's health and well-being.


Can you imagine what it would be like to go for a haircut and have your wisdom teeth removed at the same time without anesthesia? It's hard to imagine!

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