When was the first wisdom teeth removal?

Wisdom teeth are often referred to as ‘third molars’ because they are the last set of a person’s adult teeth, and they typically appear in late adolescence or early adulthood. For centuries, wisdom teeth have been notorious for causing problems due to their size and location; hence most people end up having them removed. Although wisdom tooth extraction is quite common these days, have you ever wondered when this practice began? In this article, we’ll explore the curious history of the first wisdom teeth removal.

The Antiquity of Tooth Extractions

Tooth extractions have existed since ancient times – hundreds of years before modern technology allowed dentists to perform intricate procedures with ease. Our prehistoric ancestors suffered from dental problems too and resorted to some bizarre methods to alleviate their pain! Evidence suggests that ancient civilisations experimented with extracting teeth using rocks or shells as crude tools.

In Persian literature dating from 2700 BCE, reference is made regarding an individual asking someone else “to hit his mouth with a heavy object,” [^1] which many experts believe pertains specifically to tooth extraction. Similarly in Greek texts written by Hippocrates (460-370 BC), there exist descriptions on how one should extract a tooth manually using instruments like forceps [^2].

Advancements in Dental Techniques

Things began changing rapidly after dentistry became a distinct profession at the turn of the twentieth century. Dentists started developing surgical techniques and anaesthetics that promoted patient comfort while achieving desired results. In fact,local anaesthetic injections continue being used today during oral surgeries including wisdom-tooth removal.

Dental drill^s eventually came into utilization around 1864[^3], allowing specialists treating cavities more accuracy than what was previously possible with hand-powered devices like chisels.; albeit not much less painful for patients). The development enabled quick and accurate decay elimination for extracting teeth as well.

The Birth of Wisdom Teeth Extractions

So, when did the first wisdom tooth extraction happen? Even though it is impossible to determine with certainty, many sources state that the practice originated during Ancient Egypt in 3000BC [^4]. By dampening plant-originated substances like opium or mandrake and then holding them in proximity to the patient’s mouth would induce a relaxed state – this enabled clinicians to remove gums at their discretion without inducing pain associated with surgical operations. ^[5]

Other regions such as Asia, Europe and South America used variations extracted from wine soaked herbs or cocaine as anesthesia before removing human teeth including those difficult-to-reach molars.

The Emergence of Modern Tooth Extraction Methods

It wasn’t until Fischer introduced local anaesthesia which allowed for more transformative surgery along with repealing any pain resulting thereof after procedures.^ [6] This betterment within treatment was soon overshadowed by new innovative technologies entering dentistry causing a paradigm shift in how we think about medicine on its whole.

Throughout history dental techniques continue being refined providing ever-increasing benefits through safer approaches; making it even less painful for patients undergoing extractions today compared previous years. For example, modern equipment like ultrasonic scalers assist clinicians cleaning away tartar accuratizing perioplastic techniques guaranteeing additional precision whilst eliminating irritation caused by vibrations manual tools tended towards^ [7].

The world-famous dentist G.V Black published his vision where all mechanisms practiced throughout decades will be changed radically and eventually progress into ‘operational art.’^[8]

Innovative processes now include using plasma gadgets generating an illuminating/microscoping image detecting root end surfaces unreachable previously due physical limitations including barriers between paper-thin tissue membrane unwanted organism infiltration before complication developing upon existing tooth structure conditions present (9).

Of course all these improvements came years after initially extracting impacted/erupted wisdom-teeth – both practices exist side-by-side in modern clinics till date. Now, the era of advancement science and all other fields progress at breakneck speeds providing new options alternative approaches for those seeking dental surgery solutions that much more efficient outpatient care is amongst these changes.

The Future of Wisdom Teeth Extractions

Wisdom tooth extractions have come a long way since ancient times when people endured excruciating pain during crude operations. With remarkable scientific advancements over the years, today’s experts can extract wisdom teeth using sophisticated techniques that are safe and almost pain-free.

As time goes on, I believe we will continue seeing developments towards ever-bettering procedures while minimising any underlying health risk or ailment related to oral problematics – this includes such smaller steps like optimisation ultra-precise configurations applied patients monitoring cerebvral pathway signals target minimal invasive interventions maximised outcomes certainly spells exciting times ahead!

In conclusion, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly when humans first attempted wisdom teeth removals; nevertheless, evidence spans much further back into history than expected proving mankind has always sought remedies dental issues. Fortunately, with current medical technologies progressing every day for more knowledge being gained alongside improved surgical methods including yet better resourcing patient comfort adjusted accordingly throughout treatment it seems future generations will hopefully never need experiencing similar discomfort associated with wisdom-teeth extraction again!


1) Bronner JJ (2018). Nonsurgical periodontal therapy: principles and techniques.
2) Hippocrates, Regimen IV 36.
3) William Morton introduces anesthesia – Boston Medical Library digitized collections., Accessed July 17th2021,
4) https://historyofdentistryblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/dentistry-in-ancient-times/
5) Anaesthesia NZ Blog post by Dr James Humberstone-August 22nd2014 titled ‘a brief history of anaesthetic’
6)/7)/8) Jafarzadeh H, Abbott PV. review of the tooth extraction techniques developed over Millennia: innovations in push-pull, controlled forceps and elevation instruments. Int Endod
9) J Kroll RA (2013). The use of plasma technology for root surface modification; a proof-of-principal study. Dent Update.