02/03/2010  |  
Posted in Fun Dental Facts
Fun Facts: Paul Revere the Midnight Rider, Dentist, and First Dental Forensic Specialist

When learning about American history, no study is complete without mention of the legendary midnight ride of Paul Revere. This single act of bravery warned and saved the lives of many colonists from the approaching British troops. But what else do you know about Paul Revere? By trade he was a metalworker who turned his expertise and mechanical skills into other businesses, namely dentistry and copper plate engraving. These businesses were a nice compliment to each other as he used his copper plating skills, a new technology at the time, to advertise his dental practice in Boston newspapers from 1768-1770. And he used his craftsman skills as a metal worker to carve, clean, and wire false teeth into his patient's mouths—something he became well known for during his time.

Revere is also credited as the first dentist in forensic medicine, by confirming the identity of General Joseph Warren who had died at the Battle of Bunker Hill, had been buried, and whose remains were being exhumed for a proper burial. According to the Paul Revere Memorial Association, Revere recognized the wiring that he had used to fasten an artificial tooth in the general's mouth, thus starting the first use of dental records in forensic medicine.


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