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History of False Teeth

Posted by Dr. Adam Schulhof on October 29, 2013

Modern technology has undoubtedly changed the dental profession for the better. Nowadays, orthodontists and dentists can work together to easily correct crooked teeth with braces, remove unsightly stains, and fill in gaps. Additionally, dentures, or false teeth, are becoming almost indistinguishable from our actual teeth, but it wasn’t always like this. Read on to find out more information about the history of false teeth!

Early History

False teeth can be traced back to around 700 B.C. In the past, if a person wanted teeth that were perfect, braces weren’t an option. Instead, false teeth were taken from a variety of sources, some of which included animal and human corpses. (Yuck!) Restorations were created through the use of bone and ivory, and springs or silk threads were used to keep the new tooth in place. However, these teeth were not permanent, and they had to be removed prior to eating.

Porcelain Dentures

As dentures and dentistry evolved, porcelain became a standard practice. The first set of porcelain dentures can be traced backed to Alexis Duchateau in 1770, and then in 1721, Duchateau’s assistant patented the “De Chemant’s Specification.” This patent was used for the false-teeth making process, and it utilized springs in order to ensure that the teeth stayed in place. This process could also make the teeth any color, which provided patients with the most visually appealing and natural teeth possible. The next year, he started selling these dentures.

Porcelain dentures continued to transform, and in 1820, Claudius Ash, who was a goldsmith at the time, invented a different way to create them, also made out of porcelain. However, Ash’s dentures were mounted onto plates made of 18-carat gold. Later, the use of rubber that had been hardened, also known as Vulcanite, began to replace porcelain, and Claudius Ash’s company became the top manufacturer in all of Europe.

False Teeth Today

Just like behind the teeth braces and other treatments, dentures are becoming more advanced. They are no longer made from porcelain, and they typically consist of plastics and acrylic resin, but these changes did not begin to occur until the mid-1900s. They are available as either complete or partial dentures, and they can be placed after gum tissues have started to heal. While complete dentures are often necessary for someone who has lost all his teeth, partial dentures are of use when only some of a person’s natural teeth are gone.

It is also important to note that current trends focus more on preventative dentistry than dentures. The overall rates of people who use dentures or false teeth have fallen quite dramatically over the past few decades, and as more dental and orthodontic options become available, it is expected that these statistics will only continue to decline. Achieving and maintaining healthy, straight, beautiful teeth and checking in with a dentist and orthodontist can minimize the risk that you'll ever need to worry about permanent tooth loss.

Tagged as: false teeth history, history of false teeth, interesting facts, incognito hidden braces

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