Practische Bemerkungen die Zahne und einige Krankheiten derselben – Practical remarks on the teeth and related diseases. (1796, 1801).

Practische Bemerkungen die Zahne und einige Krankheiten derselben


Friedrich Hirsch (1753-1820)

Friedrich Hirsch was a German dentist born in Sensheim, Franconia, Germany. His biography is incomplete. Apparently from 1777 he was practicing in Stuttgart as a dentist. In 1791 he was appointed as court dentist in Weimar to the Duchy Saxon-Weimar Court and he claimed to have been Dentist to the Royal Court of Great Britain and the Elector of Hanover and to the Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg. From 1804 he changed his name to Hirschfeld.

As the Court dentist, Friedrich Hirsch traveled to various parts of Germany every year to treat patients, accumulating experience and recording his observations for later inclusion in his book. During his twenty-years of practice, Hirsch obtained enough knowledge to publish his book in 1796. Before his publication though, Friedrich Hirsch sought the opinions, and as was customary at the time, the approval of other dentists in the region of Hofen, Germany. Hirsh’s book was supported by famous physicians, like Justus Christian Loder, a German anatomist and surgeon at University of Jena, personal physician for the Prussian royal family at Konigsberg and Czar Alexander I of Russia.

The book is divided into two sections, each containing 5-6 chapters. The first section is dedicated to normal and diseased state of the teeth and related structures. The second section focuses on dental procedures, including the use of new instruments. Hirsch was the first to indicate a good model of the diagnosing pulpitis by tenderness to percussion. He described a cement of turpentine made into a paste with a varnish of oil of linseed for cavity filling.

This book provides a window on late eighteenth-century dental practice and knowledge. Many of his observations were from first-hand experience. Hirsch’s work provided guidelines for dental surgical procedures to the practicing dentists at the time.

Based in part on research done by Jong Kil (Charlie) Kim, class of 2022 as part of their assignment in Elective in History of Medicine and Dentistry, 2018-2019. His Biographie is based in part on A. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Arzte aller Zeiten und Volker (1886, Vol 3, p.219. Edited by Andrew I Spielman.

Digital Version

A. Hirsch, Biographisches lexicon der hervorragenden Arzte aller zeiten und Volker – Vienna and Leipzig: Urban and Schwartzenberg 1886, vol 3, p.219.