Have you ever wondered what dentures were like when they were first invented? Here, we’ll show you how dentures have transformed throughout the years.
In 700 BC, the Etruscans (a powerful and wealthy civilization located in what is today northern Italy) created dentures by attaching gold wires and bands to animal and human teeth, while the Romans utilized a similar technique in 500 BC. Archeological evidence of other primitive dentures have also been found in Egyptian tombs.
In 1774, a doctor named Alexis Duchâteau created the first porcelain dentures. He wore ivory dentures himself, but he was tiring of them because they had begun to rot. Though these early porcelain dentures were an improvement, they chipped easily and also looked a bit too white for his taste. Around this time, dentures sometimes included teeth that had been collected from deceased soldiers, for a more natural appearance. Fun fact: Many people mistakenly believe that George Washington wore wooden dentures, while they were actually made of a combination of animal teeth, human teeth, metal alloys, and ivory
During the 1800s, the rise of sugary diets led to an increase in tooth decay and tooth extractions, prompting the invention of an improved denture. A silversmith and goldsmith named Claudius Ash mounted porcelain on gold plates, complete with gold springs and swivels. These dentures were both functionally and aesthetically superior to previous creations. Then by the 1850s, a few years after Goodyear patented Vulcanite, many dentures were made of porcelain set into hardened rubber.
In the 20th century, denture teeth began to be made from acrylic resin, an inexpensive and odorless material, with the base being constructed of either a rigid acrylic resin or flexible nylon polymer.
Today, both plastic, acrylic resin, and porcelain are still used in dentures. At Ammons Dental By Design, we offer affordable denture options for every patient's smile goals and budget, including denture stabilizing dental implants, partial dentures, and full dentures. Based on your unique situation, we can determine the best course of restorative treatment and help you choose a manageable payment option. We offer cash and military discounts, and accept a number of insurances and third-party financing through CareCredit® and LendingClub®.
Contact our expert team if you have any other questions about the history of dentures. Or, schedule a consultation at one of our locations to see if dentures are the right restorative treatment for your dental needs. We look forward to hearing from you.