Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


French and Francophone Studies

First Advisor

MIchelle Chilcoat


dental care, dentistry, France, french, soins dentaires, assurance maladie, securité sociale


Picture the bustling streets of Paris in the mid-1700’s, lined with a mosaic of shouting artisans and heckling businessmen trying to make a profit from the many passersby. Among the sea of street-savvy merchants, one man stood out. Wheeling an ornate cart decked in human teeth and performing partly as a charlatan, he was none other than a tooth-puller. Dental care in France was born through these theatrical tooth-pullers, who were looking more to be a spectacle then to relieve a toothache. As science progressed over time, so too did the stance on oral health. Revolutionary milestones such as the term “dentist” being coined in 1723 by physician Pierre Fauchard in his book The Surgical Dentist and the Dental School of Paris being established in 1879, dentistry evolved for more than a century to become what it is today. At the heart of modern-day dental care is the French social security system, which covers 70% of health care expenses. Even with its progressive model, French dental care still has many flaws. Oral hygiene in France is less than adequate, in part due to the inequalities within the healthcare system. However, evidence of improvement of the French healthcare system is on the horizon. Ground-breaking research on oral hygiene and dental care is being conducted and oral health promotion for all people is becoming a nation-wide priority.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.