Advances in Hygiene and Cosmetic Dentistry
In 1905, novocaine was invented, making dental visits much more comfortable for many people, reports the ADA. Hygiene also took a leap forward when the first oral hygiene school opened in 1913. Fluoridated water was introduced in the 1940s and is still a standard for protecting teeth today.
When you hear the whizzing sound of a tooth being drilled in your dentist's office, you can thank the dentist who invented the high-speed drill in 1957. Also, though lasers may seem like a more modern tool, they were actually first used in the 1960s to treat gum disease. Around the same time, fillings as you know them today — made of composite resin — were also developed.
You might be wondering when teeth whitening products came on the market. The first home bleaching kit was released in 1989. Shortly thereafter, whitening and other aesthetic treatments, such as veneers and tooth-covered restorations, became widespread.