The Truth About The Disturbing History of Dentures

History of Dentures

While modern dentures are made of acrylic, porcelain, nylon, resin, and metal, dentures are not a new phenomenon, and the materials, tools and techniques have drastically evolved to become safe, ethical, painless and fast, although dentures got their start in very rudimentary and disturbing beginnings. 



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What Are Complete Dentures?

Complete and partial dentures are prosthetic teeth that are fitted to your gums or the surrounding soft and hard tissues in your mouth to restore a full, bright smile and the functionality of your teeth. The two most common types of dentures are complete dentures and partial dentures. Complete dentures may be the better option if you are missing the majority of your own teeth.

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How Have Complete Dentures Evolved Over History?

The first anthropological discoveries of complete dentures do not resemble modern dentures but were similar in function, that is they were made to help humans chew and bite food. They were made of bone, ivory, gold, wood, animal teeth and disturbingly, even other human teeth. 

Complete Dentures became closer to what we know them as today about 300 years ago with the rise of sugar in diets, subsequent tooth loss and a market among the rich to find a solution.  Tooth loss was very common by middle age, and until modern-day, there were not dentists, hygiene professionals, and effective tools available to perform root canals or catch cavities. Even today, there are many reasons why someone may lose their teeth and it is not always hygiene or sugar-related.

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, wax, gold, Ivory and human teeth were the most common materials, and the best (and most morbid) source to get human teeth were fallen soldiers who were young and healthy- and still had their teeth. It wasn’t until the evolution and invention of softer materials such as rubber, tin, aluminum and finally in the 20th century- acrylic/resin along with the improvement of materials like porcelain, that complete dentures became cheaper, more comfortable, adhered better to the gums and mouth, and became what we know them as today. Complete dentures are no longer considered an exclusive luxury privilege of the rich, nor a phenomenon that relies on rocky ethics.

As humans have always done, they found a way to reinvent the wheel. Complete Dentures evolved out of a technological desire to improve, innovate and learn- plus we really do love to eat, and dentures can help us enjoy those coveted foods again. 

 

Why Did Modern-Day Dentures Evolve?

Simple. Modern-day complete dentures have evolved over a lengthy period of time and were constantly reinvented to improve. Modern complete and partial dentures evolved due to factors such as:

  • Affordability
  • Comfort
  • Resources and materials
  • Technological advancements
  • Aesthetics
  • Functionality
  • Safety (from using unsanitary or toxic materials) 
  • A desire to stop sharing teeth with your late uncle (if he had any left)


What Are Dentures Made Of Now?

Nowadays, dentures are produced in a lab and don’t actually use any real (human or animal) teeth, although they look so natural and are just as strong no one would know any better except that they will correctly fit your mouth and jaw. Furthermore, they are now made to match the size, shape and colour of your own teeth. Modern dentures are usually made of acrylic, plastics, resin, nylon, porcelain, and metal. 


How are Dentures Made Now?

Modern-day dentures are now customized to adhere to and fit your mouth, so they are both functional and beautiful. When you get complete dentures made, the process will look like the following:

  • Dental Impressions are made
  • Bite Moulds are taken
  • Select shape and colour of denture teeth
  • Wax Models examples
  • Fittings to check the fit, bite, and appearance 

 

Modern Day Complete Dentures- Affordable and Beautiful

Like many things, complete dentures have evolved from questionable methods and materials over time to become safe, functional, ethical and beautiful options for tooth replacement. If you’re missing teeth or they are painful and even wiggly, dentures may be the right solution for you to restore your quality of life. Ask your dentist if you’re a good candidate for dentures.

If you are in need of affordable dentures and financing options in Calgary, be sure to contact us today to find out more about the denture solutions we can provide.

If you require affordable dentures in Calgary, be sure to contact us today to find out more about the denture solutions we can provide.


FAQs

What is the lifespan of a pair of dentures?

Dentures typically last about a decade. It is a good idea to book an appointment with your denturist to make sure your complete dentures still fit and function properly and you are not in need of denture repairs or replacements yet. 

How much do complete dentures cost in Calgary, on average?

Typically, the cost of complete dentures in Calgary will range from $1,000- $5,000. 

How often do your dentures need to be relined or rebased?

Patients should have their dentures relined every 1-2 years and rebased every 5 years or so to maintain comfortability and a snug fit. Book an appointment with your denturist to make sure your dentures are still in good condition. 


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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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