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Early Dentists Kept York Chewing

Dentistry came into its own in the 19th century. According to the American Dental Association website, Samuel Stockton began manufacturing porcelain teeth in 1825. Amalgam fillings were introduced in America in the 1830s, and cohesive gold foil fillings became practical about 1855. Probably best of all from the patients’ point of view was the development of various means of anesthesia in the 1840. Today, there are countless of dental clinics like this local company where people can finally attain the dental care that they desire.

York dentists kept up with the times, according to two 1840s ads below from the York Gazette:


In 1843 Dr. T. H. Parker inserted the following advertisement. It ran in the paper for years.

“DR. T. H. PARKER,

RESPECTFULLY informs his friends and the
public that his Office is located one door
West of Demuth & Baumgardner’s store
in MAIN street; here he is prepared to

INSERT TEETH,

FROM SINGLE TOOTH TO A WHOLE SET–and perform
operations in Dental Surgery, on the
most reasonable terms, to suit the times.
York, March 7, 1843″
Dr. Parker was retiring in 1849, but York wasn’t going to be dentistless. Dr. Tyrrell announced his office opening, complete with endorsement by Dr. Parker:

“DENTISTRY
T. TYRRELL,

RESPECTFULLY INFORMS THE CITIZENS OF York,
and vicinity, that he has taken the rooms recently
occupied by Dr. T. H. Parker, in North Beaver
street, where he is prepared to perform all necessary
operations on the Teeth, either for the preservation
of the natural or for supplying and remedying the loss
of these invaluable organs, by the insertion of
Artificial Teeth, in the most permanent and beautiful
manner.
His experience in the practice of his profession
has been long and ample, and his operations have
well stood the test of time.
York, March 20, 1849. —
Being about to relinquish the practice of dentistry,
it is a source of gratification to me, that I am able,
so confidently, to recommend to my numerous
friends, patrons and others, my successor, Dr.
Tyrrell, a gentleman well qualified and skilled
in all the departments of dental science and art.
He will not disappoint the reasonable hopes and
expectations of those who may employ him.
T. H. PARKER, Dentist.
York, March 20, 1849.
I don’t know if I ever thought of my teeth as “invaluable organs,” but they sure do come in handy.
Notice that the ads used the same cut for an illustration, but the bridge was flipped over from Dr. Parker to Dr. Tyrrell. I guess they did both “uppers” and “lowers.”
By the way, it has been discovered that George Washington’s false teeth really weren’t wooden.
Click here to read about a York doctor’s cure-all claims in 1816.