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Understanding the Evolution of Dentures

October 7, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dulcedental @ 2:32 pm
older woman wearing dentures in Dallas

If you are missing a lot of your teeth and are in need of replacements, you’re in luck. Dentures have come a long way to be the durable, natural-looking restorations we’re used to today. To help you understand how they have progressed over the years, here’s more about the evolution of dentures and how they benefit patients.

Early Dentures

Evidence of the first dentures dates back to 700 B.C. when ivory, animal bones, and human teeth were tied together using gold wires. Since these early dentures were uncomfortable to wear and were unlikely to stand up to pressure from biting and chewing, they were most likely only meant for aesthetic purposes.

The earliest surviving pair of complete dentures were discovered In Japan and date back to the 16th century. They were made out of wood and created from an impression taken in beeswax. The wooden bases would eventually begin to incorporate human and animal teeth, animal horns, and a stone called pagodite.

Though myths say the first U.S. President George Washington had wooden teeth, his dentures were actually made out of a carved hippopotamus ivory plate.  Horse, donkey, and human teeth were placed in it to replace his natural ones. These dentures became stained, gave off a foul odor, and were uncomfortable to wear. Even so, the wealthy continued to wear them into the early 1800s.

The Introduction of Porcelain Dentures

In 1700s Europe, sugar consumption skyrocketed. This was subsequently followed by widespread tooth loss. Fortunately, a British physician named Alexis Duchâteau developed the first pair of porcelain dentures in 1774. By the 1820s, an English silversmith named Claudius Ash had upgraded the restorations to include gold plates, springs, and swivels, which allowed them to work more efficiently.

In the mid-1800s, an alternative to pricey porcelain dentures was created. These restorations were made from hardened rubber, which could be customized to fit a person’s gums. They were popular among people of all economic levels into the 20th century until acrylic resin took over.

Dentures Today

Today, dentures are made from plastics and acrylic resin to form a safe, durable, affordable, and natural-looking dental appliance. Along with these benefits, modern dentures also:

  • Prevent facial sagging by restoring the support once provided by your natural teeth
  • Restore some of your bite power and your ability to eat a varied, nutritious diet
  • Are much more comfortable than ones from the past
  • Can be paired with dental implants for a stronger, more functional tooth replacement option

Dentures have changed a lot over the years to become what they are today. Due to centuries of innovations and advancements in the field of dental health, modern dentures are now able to provide patients with a beautiful, durable, and long-lasting smile!

About the Author

Dr. Christopher Duong, Dr. John Kuan, Dr. Jim Lee, and their gifted team at Dulce Dental handle everything from basic oral health care to extensive smile makeovers. They aim to provide their Dallas patients with a calm, relaxing office experience from the moment they walk through the door. If you’re missing teeth and looking into replacement options, they can help you make the best choice for you and your smile. If you’re interested in learning more about dentures or are ready to schedule an appointment, visit Dulce Dental’s website or call their office at (214) 337-0153.

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