Before modern medicine, the understanding of disease and other bodily afflictions was based on ideas that were at least 2,000 years old but lacked any scientific basis. All people in the Western world, and not just medical personnel, assumed that disease was caused by an imbalance or disturbance within the body.
In the 1800s, dental practices included such duties as extracting teeth with a turnkey (a primitive tool like a ratchet wrench, used for extracting teeth), cleaning the teethwith scrapers and removing cavities with hand instruments. The filling materials used then were tin, gold foil, lead and silver.
Most hospitals became secularised. Medical and nursing staff also began to play a more prominent role at institutions. Throughout the early 1800s medical staff, rather than lay subscribers, began to select patients. Surgical cases also began to outnumber medical cases.