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Wells, Horace

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Born: 1815 AD
Died: 1848 AD, at 33 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Dentist

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1815 - Born in January 21st in Vermont. American dentist, a pioneer in the use of surgical anesthesia.

1840 - He was a dentist in Hartford, CT, when he became interested in the possibility of using nitrous oxide - ‘laughing gas’ - as a painkiller while extracting teeth.

1844 - Wells noted the pain-killing properties of nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) during a laughing-gas road show and thereafter used it in performing painless dental operations.

         - Wells had one of his own teeth extracted while under nitrous oxide, and he extracted several more from patients without pain.

1845 - When he attempted to demonstrate the gas' efficacy for surgery at the Harvard Medical School, it failed.

1846 - Morton successfully demonstrated the use of ether, first (September) for teeth extraction and then (October) for surgical operations, at Massachusetts General Hospital.

1847 - Wells published a claim in the Hartford Courant that he had discovered the anaesthetics effect of both nitrous oxide and ether, and he elaborated his claims in a pamphlet.

1848 - Committed suicide and died on January 24th in New York.

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Page last updated: 11:45pm, 02nd Jul '07