Dentures from the Dawn of Time: The History of Dentures

Overview: The wheel, the light bulb and smartphones are some of the greatest inventions in history. It might be hard to believe at first, but dentures are part of that exclusive club too! It doesn’t matter if it’s the year 2015 or 2015 B.C., losing your teeth can be a major buzz kill. Continue reading this blog to find out more about the great invention of dentures.

Currently if you lose your teeth at any age, the Future Smiles Clinic will have you walking around with a million dollar smile in no time! Unfortunately, denturist Vlad was not around in 7000 BC when the Etruscans in northern Italy practiced primitive dentistry. The Etruscans used human and or animal teeth for dentures, which needed to be replaced often since the replacement teeth would break down quickly. This primitive form of dentures lasted all the way up to the 1800’s.

The time between 1860-1890 marks a great historical period in Europe known as the Industrial Revolution. As great as this revolution was for civilization, there was another revolution that is not talked as much - the revolution of sugar. The dietary habits of people changed greatly with sugar acting like an unstoppable force, and consumption jumping to 500% per capita. With the increase in sugar consumption and dental hygiene still lagging behind, more and more people were enduring tooth decay, which would eventually result in losing natural teeth. All of a sudden there was a greater demand for dentures.

Before the industrial revolution in the 1700’s, many dentures were made out of ivory from walrus, elephants and hippopotamus. All these early forms of dentures were prone to chipping, discolouring, and in some cases seemed too white and therefore looked aesthetically awkward. Further advancements in dentures took place in 1820 in Westminster. A goldsmith fabricated a prototype of dentures that used teeth of dead soldiers and in some cases, grave robbers pulled teeth from corpses. Instead of using an ivory base, the goldsmith Claudius Ash placed the teeth on 18-karat gold plates complete with gold springs. After 1850, Claudius Ash became the top manufacturer of dentures and further advanced his product by using dentures made of Vulcanite.

Dentures Fit for a President

The most famous historical figure that wore dentures was George Washington. At the time, his dentures were considered to be one of the most advanced with human teeth placed on a base made of ivory from a hippopotamus.

The Egyptians were also known for their tooth loss solutions, and they had a primitive form of dentures dating back to 1500 B.C that used human teeth threaded with gold wire to hold them into place. The oldest pair of full dentures known were produced in Japan and unlike the primitive use of human teeth, Japanese used wooden teeth. The best replacement teeth method is dental implants and the ancient Mayan Civilization was aware of this benefit. Archeologists have discovered that the Mayans used carved stones, seashells fragments and bits of bone and fused them into the jawbone. And to the surprise of many researchers, this primitive method did work, since many of the false teeth did fuse permanently with the jawbone.

The Bottom Line: History has taught us that replacing natural teeth that have fallen out is extremely important. Dentures and dental implants allow you to restore the full function of your teeth. If you require dentures or dental implants the good news is that you don’t need any ivory or seashells embedded into your jaw! Denturist Vlad at his Future Smiles Clinic on Macleod has an onsite state-of-the-art lab where techs fabricate your full dentures to the highest modern standards. Be thankful you can benefit from today's exceptional dentures and book an appointment with Future Smiles today!

For more information on full dentures, partial dentures or dental implants contact Denturist Vlad Dumbrava at the Future Smiles Clinic in Calgary today on 403.475.0016.

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Vlad Dumbrava

Vlad Dumbrava has been active in the field of denture therapy since 2008. Upon receiving his denturist degree in 2011 from George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario, he continued his education in Medical Sciences at Western University.

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