Fishers Dentist shares the story of the founder of dentistry

There are countless people who dread going to the dentist, mumbling and grumbling in their chair about, “who even made dentistry a thing anyway?” Your Fishers Dentist is here to answer that exact question, if your curiosity is still peaked for a bit of history!


His name is Sir John Tomes. He was born in 1815 in Gloucestershire, South West England. And at the young age of 16, he was an apprentice to Thomas Smith, who was a medical practitioner in Worcestershire, England. A mere 6 years later, in 1836, Tomes enrolled as a pupil to the medical schools of King’s College and the Middlesex Hospital, which were united during this time, and finished his medical training.


Tomes was always more fascinated with dentistry and its work and was advised and encouraged by other doctors to concentrate on dental surgery. After realizing how important dental work is, he continued to push the individual practice onto King’s College, who turned it down twice, once in 1843 and once in 1855.


Finally, in 1858, at the age of 43, Tomes was successful in inducing the Royal College of Surgeons to grant a license in dental surgery. Also during this year, he was the first to give clinical demonstrations at the Dental Hospital. When he began teaching, it was full of people who had and didn’t need any history in the medical field because dentistry didn’t require it at this time.


After dental licentiateship had been founded for about 20 years, Tomes was a key component in obtaining the Dentists Act in 1878 for the registration of dental professionals. Because of his work, consistency and efforts, Tomes’ name was the first on the Dental Register when it was published.

Sir John Tomes is certainly not a popular name that we hear when we discuss monumental, historical events, but he contributed and created a lot of his work into perfecting dentistry in a time where that was absolutely none. Because of him, patients today are able to walk around with a confident, bright smile!


If you’re interesting in making an appointment for a check-up or a consultation, contact your Fishers Dentist by dialing (317) 773-1302 or visiting the appointment request page today. And don’t forget to thank Sir John Tomes!



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