J. Henry Clarke, MS DMD, is Professor Emeritus, OHSU School of Dentistry, Past President of the American Academy of the History of Dentistry, and the recipient of the Hayden Harris Award for Outstanding Contributions to the History of Dentistry. He served as Chair of the OHSU School of Dentistry Archives and Historical Preservation Committee. He is a lecturer on History of Medicine at OHSU School of Medicine. Clarke has written three book chapters and fourteen articles on medical and dental history, and has delivered numerous national, regional, and local presentations on this topic.
Dentistry in Oregon
Early Dentistry Before 1847, there were some surgeon-dentists in eastern cities but none in Oregon. Toothache—usually caused by an abscess—was a common part of daily life. The only solution was extraction by someone such as a blacksmith, using crude, unclean tools. While this technique often solved the problem, it frequently …