"one whose profession is to clean and extract teeth, repair them when diseased, and replace them when necessary with artificial ones," 1759, from French dentiste, from dent "tooth," from Latin dens (from PIE root *dent- "tooth") + -ist.
Dentist figures it now in our newspapers, and may do well enough for a French puffer, but we fancy Rutter is content with being called a tooth-drawer. [Edinburgh Chronicle, Sept. 15, 1759]
(Tooth-drawer is attested from late 14c.). Related: Dentistic; dentistical.