Dentistry in Golarion


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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Having returned from an ... experience at the dentist, I have questions about dentistry in Golarion.


  • Are there dentists? How common is it?
  • Is there anesthetic?
  • What level of dental technology are we expecting here?
  • What spells would work for dental damage? Cures? Lesser Restoration?
  • What is the dental hygiene like generally? Do citizens brush their teeth regularly?


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roguerouge wrote:

Having returned from an ... experience at the dentist, I have questions about dentistry in Golarion.


  • Are there dentists? How common is it?
  • Is there anesthetic?
  • What level of dental technology are we expecting here?
  • What spells would work for dental damage? Cures? Lesser Restoration?
  • What is the dental hygiene like generally? Do citizens brush their teeth regularly?

-I'd imagine so, how common, that's a good question, I'd venture most cities would have a couple, large towns might have one dentist, or a healer that does dental work.

-Strong drinks, non-lethal damage, sleep spell (actually probably not, cause damage wakes them up), I'm sure there's a few other spells, some narcotics....in other words, heaps.
-Tooth hurts, take it out.
-Both those, Eagle Splendour, probably some others that other folks will know.
-That's probably a good one for that ask the developer thread somewhere on here.


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1. I would assume dentistry exists in Golarion--tooth decay is still a thing, unless one adheres to the "per RAW, nobody ever poops" philosophy. Is it developed enough to have its own specialists instead of the local barber just grabbing some pliers and going to town? No idea--I'd say "ask JJ" but AFAIK there's no way to do that now.

2. Golarion has drugs, and it also has beverages with high alcohol content. The chirurgeon gets the ability to use pain-killing drugs as a class feature, so there's precedence for that as well.

3. The only rules text that I know of that addresses the topic of dealing with tooth loss via magic is the rules for tooth fairies. Worst case, there's always regenerate.

4. Depends on the citizen and the society in question. Skimming Wikipedia, chew sticks date to several thousand B.C.; toothbrushes date to seventh century China; and tooth powders predating toothpaste go back further than all of that stuff, so the tech level is there. Whether citizens use any of this stuff is probably more of a socioeconomic and cultural concern than anything else.


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Incidentally, I once played a PFS scenario with a character who had Profession (Dentist).

He was a cleric of Zon-Kuthon


blahpers wrote:
No idea--I'd say "ask JJ" but AFAIK there's no way to do that now.

Oh? Why not? Did I miss something?


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GM Ultra Plus wrote:

Incidentally, I once played a PFS scenario with a character who had Profession (Dentist).

He was a cleric of Zon-Kuthon

Did you play him like Steve Martin?


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Now that someone brought it up, I wonder what half-orc and orc dentists would be like? Maybe they just remove the bad teeth by punching you in the mouth until the right one falls out.


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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Now that someone brought it up, I wonder what half-orc and orc dentists would be like? Maybe they just remove the bad teeth by punching you in the mouth until the right one falls out.

they are masters of dental bonsai.

they primarily work on their adopted children. that is why so many catfolk barbarians/alchemists have learned the art of growing 6 inch teeth.


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Unless sugar is a big thing in diets, cavities shouldn't be a problem.


MageHunter wrote:
Unless sugar is a big thing in diets, cavities shouldn't be a problem.

chocolate is an actual item. 5 gp per 1/2 lb. there is also a cake mix. both are from ultimate equipment. the cake mix is even affordable at 1 sp.

so they are likely at a point where rich people can get enough sugar to worry.

not surprising- sugar made from fruit was a major thing since roman times (notably, they were boiled in lead pots... to predictable effects. romans kind of knew that this was why their elites were kind of... out of it. but it just doesn't taste as good when boiled in bronze pots)


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Cavities most definitely are a thing even without sugar. Not as common, but they still occur.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

True fact: Flour and/or other ground grain could often have grit, sand, and even bits of stone in it, leading to tooth damage.

For dental hygiene, basic techniques often consisted of scrubbing teeth with a twig (either gnawing on the end to soften it or using a knife to fray it first); some cultures even made standardized versions (earlier and/or cheaper solutions than a specialized miniature brush). Birch was often used for the more pleasant taste, where common. Other substances (salt, weak alkalai, spices, etc.) could be used in addition for better cleaning, taste, and/or fresher smelling breath.


blahpers wrote:
Cavities most definitely are a thing even without sugar. Not as common, but they still occur.

the birth of corn farming in native american cultures has been noted by archaeologists to have also brought dental problem.

so some staple foods might also have enough sugar content to cause problems.


GM Ultra Plus wrote:

Incidentally, I once played a PFS scenario with a character who had Profession (Dentist).

He was a cleric of Zon-Kuthon

Never get dentistry done in Nidal unless you're flat broke, right.

.

On the source of sugars, in Northern Europe apples and sugar beets date way back, and even in medieval times they imported raisins from Spain - in England there was a messy legal case when Queen Elizabeth I sold a monopoly on raisins to two different importers. In the form of partially fermented alcohol sugar was transported even in prehistory.


False Teeth are purchasable items. So there is at least that level of dentistry.

Scarab Sages

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Gisher wrote:
False Teeth are purchasable items. So there is at least that level of dentistry.

Ohf+$~ you can get novelty chattering teeth, YES! That is ALMOST as good as the mithril waffle iron. ALMOST.

Speaking of which, one problem there: There ought to be a diamond dentures option.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
roguerouge wrote:

Having returned from an ... experience at the dentist, I have questions about dentistry in Golarion.


  • Are there dentists? How common is it?
  • Is there anesthetic?
  • What level of dental technology are we expecting here?
  • What spells would work for dental damage? Cures? Lesser Restoration?
  • What is the dental hygiene like generally? Do citizens brush their teeth regularly?

1.) Probably, though they're likely just regular healers that also practice dentistry. I don't know how common it would be, since dental health was never that high a priority prior to the 20th century in our world.

2.) We didn't invent ether until the mid-19th, early 20th century. That was the earliest form of anesthetic. Based on that, I'd suggest that no, they don't. Not mundane anesthetic, anyway. However, since there are spells to make one resistant to pain, and alchemy is a thing, they've probably figured out a work-around. I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts they have it, it's just pricey and magically-dependent.

3.) Probably not very high. The ordinary person probably does the grim work of a sawbones. A cleric would probably just cast some sort of restoration spell-effect. An alchemist has probably invented toothpaste somewhere. So mundane levels of tech are probably low. Magic fixes a ton of problems and since culturally, equity is not a concern for most Inner Sea nations, no one would bother to create a freely usable alternative.

4.) Probably lesser restoration? Remove disease, perhaps. Regeneration is a definite, since that can just regrow the whole freakin' tooth if need be. You might be able to just cast prestidigitation on your teeth after every meal to clean them of debris.

5.) Depends on how good understanding of public health is in Golarion. In some places, I'm sure its better than in others. For the most part, dental hygiene is probably not a priority unless you're a noble, and then it's likely not "hygiene" but rather "this makes me look less like a poor person."

I'd also be willing to bet that in Tian Xia countries, people blacken their teeth on purpose, like they did in Japan and parts of China in the late medieval period.

Teeth brushing is unlikely to be common-place, but some people might chew various things to freshen their breath or pick their teeth for gristle. Conscientious mages would probably prestidigitate their teeth clean. Beyond that though...probably not common.


I would imagine the presence of so many individuals with low-level healing spells vastly changes the nature of health care in Golarion.

Most every village and hamlet should have at least a 1st or 2nd level priest or hedge witch.


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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Maybe they just remove the bad teeth by punching you in the mouth until the right one falls out.

That's... not how dentists do it?

...

I need to make some phone calls.


So for our world...

Wikipedia wrote:
The history of dentistry is almost as ancient as the history of humanity and civilization with the earliest evidence dating from 7000 BC. Remains from the early Harappan periods of the Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300 BC) show evidence of teeth having been drilled dating back 9,000 years.[3] It is thought that dental surgery was the first specialization from medicine.

I can't imagine there is no dentistry. Tooth and gum diseases could be cured by magic if the people can afford it, otherwise they need a dentist of some sort. Of course ancient dentistry is nothing like modern.

I imagine most dentistry would revolve around treating pain (bleed into herbalism maybe) and removing bad teeth. I doubt people care about yellow teeth and plaque at this point, but diets could probably help there too, as well as good ol' fashion bone chewing.


justaworm wrote:

So for our world...

Wikipedia wrote:
The history of dentistry is almost as ancient as the history of humanity and civilization with the earliest evidence dating from 7000 BC. Remains from the early Harappan periods of the Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300 BC) show evidence of teeth having been drilled dating back 9,000 years.[3] It is thought that dental surgery was the first specialization from medicine.

I can't imagine there is no dentistry. Tooth and gum diseases could be cured by magic if the people can afford it, otherwise they need a dentist of some sort. Of course ancient dentistry is nothing like modern.

I imagine most dentistry would revolve around treating pain (bleed into herbalism maybe) and removing bad teeth. I doubt people care about yellow teeth and plaque at this point, but diets could probably help there too, as well as good ol' fashion bone chewing.

I would imagine Prestidigitation would suffice for cleaning/whitening.


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Let me begin this post by saying; I'm actually in the process of writing a book using the Pathfinder setting and just spent a good part of the day going through all 1st and 2nd level spells making note of the macro effects such spell availibility would have on society assuming a 2% caster population based on the 3.5 DMG.

One particular spell is that effects this is Diagnose Disease. Which has the following effects:
1. You know if a creature has a disease or not.
2. You can distinguish diseases from simple effects like "Nausiated" and "Sickened" and know what supernatural or extraordinary effects are causing them. Aka you know if someone is just sickened from a goblin throwing a hornet nest at them as apposed to infecting them with something.
3. You know what the disease is, meaning you can distinguish between all forms of diseases and likely even know the names of these diseases(as this is a divine spell, you probably use the name your deity would use for it).
4. You know all effects the disease causes.
5. You know how to treat the disease(and mechanically gain a +4 untyped bonus to heal checks and know if the disease requires specific treatment like mummyrot)

This 2nd level cleric spell actually pushes Pathfinder setting medical knowledge lightyears ahead of modern medical technology in all aspects but one: You don't know what causes the disease if it's a normal disease. Meaning doctors would know exactly what the black plague is and how to treat it but not know how it spreads and thus prevent it from occuring to begin with. And yes, I said doctors not just clerics. The printing press exists in Golarion Canon(Pathfinder is actually an early-renaissance RPG not a medieval RPG)so there is nothing stopping all those good aligned clerics from writing books detailing the knowledge they've gleamed by casting this spell for years and have the books printed to be used in collages in larger cities.

Remove Disease is a 3rd level spell which actually limits its availibility to larger towns unless someone has the restoration domain. No one in Sandpoint can cast this spell as an example, but there are clerics in Magnimar that can. This spell+a lesser/normal restoration or cure spell would, on it's own, cure cavities, tooth rot, and a bunch of other things I'm not actually qualified to answer.

The claims that we've only had painkillers since the 20th century by some people in this thread are (respectfully) wrong. Opium has existed for longer than humans have and cultivating it goes back thousands of years. There are plenty of other analogues in Pathfinder that can do the same thing. There are also a broad range of spells starting at 1st level that can act painkillers and a potion is just 50gp. Polypurpose Panancea is the first that comes to mind as a mindpainkiller for 50gp that lasts an hour(If you ignore the "no personal potions" rule that I find shouldn't apply to such a spell) and delay pain is a second(or 1st level spell for Zon Kuthon worshippers of a specific domain) that can last for hours at a higher price.

In conclusion:

1: They would be as common as any other medical practitioner but outside of a metropolise I'd wager most would be general practitioners who also did dental work. Then again, Alienists are a thing in Pathfinder... Anyway, magical healers would mostly be clerics or druids and as common or rare as NPCs of those classes would be based on settlemant stats or whatever the hell you are ruling with.
2: Yes, magical and mundane of all kinds.
3: If it doesn't require electricity, it exists. Dental tools aren't that complex to begin with. Thats for mundane practitionors though. Magical healers just need their holy symbol and a tooth brush(or prestidigitation). Again, they would actually have more advanced knowledge of diseases than we do today in all but determining causes.
4: Cure wounds, Lesser Restoration, and Remove disease. Probably others.
5: Since diagnose disease does not let people know that gingavitis can be caused by not brushing your teeth: It depends. I recommend looking into historical dential care of the period(listed above) but you'd be surprised how many dental related issues have only been a problem in modern times with mass production of sugar and other harmful substances we eat today. Generally, your dental health should be proportionate to how often you can afford to eat meat.


UE says you can get your laundry (up to four items) done by an apprentice wizard with prestidigitation for 1 gp. They presumably have to do that garment by garment through the load of laundry (multiple castings), so having your teeth cleaned (1 casting) should be 2-3 sp. A bit of a pain to go have done daily, but reasonable on a weekly basis. The wealthy might use a service where the apprentice comes to you daily for considerably more, if they don't have a household mage.


ModelV wrote:
Let me begin this post by saying; I'm actually in the process of writing a book using the Pathfinder setting and just spent a good part of the day going through all 1st and 2nd level spells making note of the macro effects such spell availibility would have on society assuming a 2% caster population based on the 3.5 DMG.

What is this book that would lead to such an awesome work day?!


Is it safe?


For keeping the teeth clean... Prestidigitation? This is almost exactly what the spell was designed for. It cleans 1' cube/round for 1 hour; it colors (among other things) and it can flavor. I imagine all wizards, witches, PC-classed NPCs or Adepts of level 2 or higher with familiars taking the Valet Archetype, Mites, and all other people in the Pathfinder setting with at-will access to this spell have clean, brilliant teeth with minty breath!

Actually, considering that 2% of the population is a spellcaster, half of those have Arcane spells, and that it only takes 5 GP to employ such folk to cast a spell, I imagine that clean teeth are actually pretty prevalent among the middle class to the elite, and possibly even among other social castes as well.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Gisher wrote:
False Teeth are purchasable items. So there is at least that level of dentistry.

Ohf~*+ you can get novelty chattering teeth, YES! That is ALMOST as good as the mithril waffle iron. ALMOST.

Speaking of which, one problem there: There ought to be a diamond dentures option.

actually, the mithral waffle iron shows us a clear example that could be used to stat up mithral chattering teeth.

i believe that it should be priced at 350. mithral is an additional +500/lb for non armor items. the iron shows this applies to household goods (2.5 x 500= 1250. the last 10 might have been the author misreading the original item as 10 go).

the teeth are 1/2 lb, so + 250. the clockwork teeth are 100.

Silver Crusade

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"The Drunken Dragon wrote:
We didn't invent ether until the mid-19th, early 20th century. That was the earliest form of anesthetic.

Uh, what? We've had primitive forms of general anesthesia for millennia, the Chinese surgeon Hua Tuo used general anesthesia for complex operations about 1800 years ago, and there are records of GA use going back 500 years before that.

Plus there are published things that would work just fine as GA, blue whinnis springs to mind. And sweetdream sounds fairly similar to midazolam (fun fact: when you are having some procedures done, particularly ones where it would be dangerous to actually induce unconsciousness or where they need you to follow commands, you're not actually unconscious, you're just riding the Versed train, which prevents you from making new memories)


Andostre wrote:
ModelV wrote:
Let me begin this post by saying; I'm actually in the process of writing a book using the Pathfinder setting and just spent a good part of the day going through all 1st and 2nd level spells making note of the macro effects such spell availibility would have on society assuming a 2% caster population based on the 3.5 DMG.
What is this book that would lead to such an awesome work day?!

I actually haven't even come up with a name. "Druid Story" was one idea I threw out there at one point, if that gives you any indication of the content. I've spent the last 4 days struggling with how to wrap up chapter 3 so it's not very far along yet.


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There's an elf who wants to be a dentist.


Brilliant


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Wow, on-topic spam! The bots must be getting smarter.


Is Torr-ance a half orc? Is he the true master of dental bonsai?


In answer to the OP from years back, yes there are Barbers in Golarion. Reign of winter features a couple dwarves.

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