Everything happened by chance, as usual. The night before, Horace Wells, a dentist from the town of Hartford, Connecticut, came to a road show by certain Gardner Colton where he demonstrated the effect of nitrogen oxide. The performance impressed the dentist: next morning he came to the hotel where Colton stayed and suggested to try the “laughing gas” on a patient who needed to have his tooth deleted. As there were no volunteers, Wells decided to conduct the experiment on himself. Everything went off without a hitch: the narcosis took effect, and Well’s colleague, Dr. Riggs, deleted one of his healthy teeth. “It’s a new era in tooth extraction!” exclaimed the dentist happily, when he woke without a tooth. He put the use of nitrous oxide into medical practice.
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