This Dental Chronology is the answer to innumerable questions asked of the author by his students through the last twenty-five years, during which he has taught dental history to the senior classes in the Evans Dental Institute, University of Pennsylvania. Usually near the end of each course some students would approach the lec- turer to ask if he could recommend to them a small book for refer- ence, containing the dates of the important events as discussed by him, and the names of the various persons mentioned during the course. He could not recommend any such book, because there was none to his knowledge to be had. But he promised that some time in the near future he would write one, if there was still a need for it. Owing to many pressing duties during his active term as a full time teacher, he was unable to fulfill his promise at an early date. In the meantime, numerous notes had accumulated, await- ing proper classification. Many explanatory short notes, which ordinarily are not found in the standard books on dental history, and short references to the latest textbooks, have been added for further elucidation. These notes form the basis of this small volume. The book does not make a pretence of serving as a substitute for a competent history of dentistry. Its sole purpose is to serve as a guide to the student during his lecture course.
The art of dentistry requires an intimate understanding of its numerous mechanical devices, as employed in the routine of a busy practice; therefore, a clear comprehension of their proper application is essential to obtain the desired results. While these devices are naturally not described in a book on chronology of dentistry, nevertheless the date of their introduction and the names of their inventors are usually given to serve for further reference.