The Medical Lives of History`s Famous People

Samuel Clemens Visits the Dentist

Author(s): William James Maloney

Pp: 89-96 (8)

DOI: 10.2174/9781608059362114010017

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


American humorist and author Samuel Clemens was afflicted with periodontal disease. While living in Hartford, Connecticut his dentist was Dr. John Riggs who is considered to be the father of periodontics. Dr. Riggs studied under another Hartford dentist, Dr. Horace Wells. Dr. Wells is a pioneer in the field of anesthesia. In one of Clemensʼ posthumously published short stories, ‘Happy Memories of the Dental Chair’, Clemens gives insights into the origins of periodontics and anesthesia.

Keywords: Anesthesia, Elmira, hypersensitivity, nitrous oxide, oral hygiene, periodontics, periodontist.

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