Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 1(1953)2(115)

FIORINI, J., The History of Maltese Dentistry. Malta, Giov. Muscat, 1953. pp. 30.

This pamphlet contains useful information on the rapid development of the dental profession in Malta within the last thirty years or so. The survey is well written and portrays the progress achieved in lifting the practice of dentistry from a state of quackery to one of dignity and respectability. Details of the first qualified dentists, mostly British, who practiced in Malta in the first decades of the present century are given. Much of this progress, as one gathers from the pamphlet, has been due to the personality and initiative of Professor E. Lapira, the actual Dean of the newly established Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal University of Malta.

The title of this pamphlet is ambitious as in effect the survey is limited to the present century. Dentistry is a comparatively new science, but research in this hitherto unexplored field is bound to yield a rich harvest. By way of illustration the following note, recording the name of a Maltese practitioner in the 18th century, is here given. It is taken from I.S. Mifsud’s ms. journal preserved at the Royal Malta Library (Ms. 20, p. 35) where we read that in December 1733 “in questo mese capitò in Malta un cavadenti maltese che da tenera età era partito dalla patria di nome Gio Batta Grimaldi Francolino....”

J.[oseph] C.[assar] P.[ullicino]