Barber Shop Dentistry

If you have a toothache now, what are your options? Ignore it or make an appointment to see our qualified Placerville dental professionals and access your modern-day treatment choices. Ignoring toothaches only brings more pain and problems down the road. Seeing the Placerville Dental Group soon will not only bring relief to your pain, it will ensure good dental health in your future.

When it came to the pioneers of Placerville, what were their options for dealing with toothaches? They also had two options, one of which was still to ignore it. The second option was to look for the iconic barbershop pole — with swirling colors of red, white and blue — that told all that this was a place to come and have dental work done. Dental procedures in a barber shop? Yes, the barbers of old did more than just trim hair and shave beards — they were a full service medical clinic as well. As stated by the National Association of Barber Boards of America:

The barber pole has a wonderful and interesting story to tell, and its presence keeps this story alive. It is the oldest distinguished mark of any profession or craft, dating back before the birth of Christ. History tells us that barber service was rendered to the public 6000 years before. The art of hair and beard trimming (barbering), medicine (herbs), dentistry (tooth pulling) and surgery (blood letting) were all performed by the same operators in the early history they were called BARBER-SURGEONS [capitals theirs].
“Due to the services they rendered, especially to the royalty, the barber-surgeons were the most respected and protected men living. They held this respect for thousands of years. During their practice of surgery, which consisted only of blood letting or bleeding the disease, a white cloth was used. They would rinse this out leaving blood stains, hang it in the doorway of their business to dry; thus the origin of our present day barber pole.”

In the early history of dentistry, what could be done with a cavity or infected root? The outlook was grim. Sharp instruments would dig out the decay, then a hot iron would cauterize the infected pulp. Then, heated metal would be pounded into the hole, making a filling. There were likely no anesthetics to ease the pain, unless you count some strong alcohol. The pioneers of Placerville were undoubtedly tough, but not that tough. That is why the majority would come into town, look for the barber shop pole and prepare to simply have their tooth pulled for good. Most likely this procedure was followed by a few shots of something to ease the pain — shots that came in a glass.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain in modern-day Placerville, don’t try to be tough and ride out the pain. Come into the relaxing and comforting experience of our modern dental office. We use the most up-to-date means of relieving your pain, easing your fears and saving your tooth for years to come (including oral conscious sedation or “sleep dentistry”). Save the barber pole for your haircuts and leave the dental work to the professionals at the Placerville Dental Group.
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Jul 3, 2014 | Dental Profession


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