Cauterization: A Technique Used in Dental and Oral Medicine for Centuries


Abdulfatah Abdulrazak Hanoun


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007), Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Cauterization, dental, Islamic civilization


Many studies were published about history of medical sciences but few studies discussed the dental treatment in Islamic civilization. In this paper we study the cauterization which is an important techniques used for centuries in dental field. I reviewed many ancient original Arabic manuscripts in more than 9 books written by the authors: Ibn Raban Altabari, Alrazi, Alkashkari, Abo Alhasan Altabari , Avicena, Albocasis. 11 indications were mentioned, the most important indications was irreversible pulpitis, broken and sensitive teeth. Many materials were used as a heat carrier or to prevent the undesirable damage. Many herbs and some chemical materials as the Red Arsenic were used. Methods and techniques: About 7 techniques were known. The methods used differed depending on the author and the teeth. Cauterization was an important techniques used for centuries in dental and oral medicine. The indications and the techniques were described in details. Some ancient authors drew the instruments to give sufficient explanation about the technique. A lot of attention was paid to protect the surrounding structures and sound teeth, consequently they developed some special instruments and techniques to prevent any undesirable damages and the side effects. Some authors noticed clearly the need for drilling the teeth to open the pulp champer before cauterization in some difficult cases. These techniques as cauterization and drilling are still in usage in some places. Moreover, even in modern dentistry we are still use the drills and the cauterization but with very developed instruments and very accurate and nowadays techniques.