2004
Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2589-4617
  • E-ISSN: 2667-2081

Abstract

Abstract

This article deals with professionalization processes in the Dutch medical market. In this increasingly competitive and commercial market, tooth masters acquired a prominent position from the 1730s onwards. Originally, many of these medical specialists did not have any protective institution such as a guild behind them, and were therefore often considered as ‘quacks’. Eventually their position became stronger, because they treated patients and ailments that physicians and surgeons often ignored or whose treatment was considered too risky. Furthermore, dentistry received a scientific boost, partly due to the pioneering work of the French surgeon-dentist Pierre Fauchard. Another stimulating factor was that healthy and white teeth became a status symbol in social intercourse. The professionalization of dentistry manifested itself in increasing specialization, strong family networks, an accumulation of knowledge and skills, administrative protection and assertive media campaigns.

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