Etienne Bourdet (1722-1789)
Recherches et observations sur toutes les parties de l'art du dentiste (1757, 1786)
(Research and observations on all aspects of the art of dentistry).
Etienne Bourdet was one of the most important dentists of the 18th century France, second only to Pierre Fauchard. His family came from Birac, southwestern France. He completed his studies in dentistry at the College of Surgery in Paris and married the daughter of a dentist, Fontaine. In 1760 he was appointed royal dentist to Louis XV, following Claude Mouton , the father of prosthodontics. Subsequently he was appointed royal dentist to Louis XVI, who succeeded his father. On October 12, 1789, Bourdet died of a pulmonary edema. He was buried in the church of Rueil.
His legacy is in several works. There are three books in our collection, each with multiple editions and translations. In 1757, he published the Recherches et observations sur toutes les parties de l'art du dentiste, a comprehensive work on the art of dentistry. He was greatly influenced by Pierre Fauchard who dominated the 18th century French dental scene. This two-volume book has a total of 650 pages. The first volume is devoted to anatomy and physiology of dental and gingival pathologies. The second volume deals with techniques to remove, restore, straighten and replace teeth. The last chapter is dedicated to the preservation of teeth and the periodontium.
Bourdet was one of the first to argued for the removal of first bicuspids to make room for crowded lower teeth, in essence setting the stage for the specialty of orthodontics. He also suggested that ivory splints attached to malpositioned teeth could be realigned. Further, he was an early describer of periodontal disease due to scurvy and tartar and suggested ways to strengthen the periodontal tissue.
In 1759, Bourdet published Soins faciles pour la propreté de la bouche, et pour la conservation des dents (Easy care for cleanliness of mouth and preservation of teeth). A reworked version of this volume was republished in 1787, two years before his death under the title: L'art de soigner facilement la bouche et de conserver les dents. His work was translated into German (1762), Italian (1773) and Russian (1790), and most of his work had seen repeated publications.
Editorial note: Andrew I Spielman
1757 and 1786 - Digital Version
Soins faciles pour la propreté de la bouche, et pour la conservation des dents (1759, 1760, 1771 and 1782) (Easy care for cleanliness of mouth and preservation of teeth).
- 1762 - German edition - Leichte Mittel, den Mund rein und die Zähne gesund zu erhalten; 1773,
- 1782 – Italian editions - Cure facili per la pulitezza della bocca, e per la conservazione de' denti.L'art de soigner facilement la bouche et de conserver les dents (1787)