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The History of Dentures


A set of model denturesWhen you have missing teeth, dentures are the ideal option to consider. They can help you chew, bite and speak with renewed confidence and will also restore the function and beauty of your smile. If you have missing teeth, our dentist at Jason Widner DMD Family Dentistry offers partial and full partial dentures to help you smile with confidence again.

The history of dentures is both fascinating and frightening, with the earliest records dating to the 7th century.

The History of Dentures


The 7th Century


Dentures were first created back in the 7th century by Etruscans of ancient Italy utilizing human and animal teeth. Bent using gold wire, these dentures were used purposely for cosmetic purposes since the materials used could not withstand jaw pressure. Before this, ancient people could create makeshift implants utilizing carved stones, shells, and animal teeth to replace the missing teeth. This was astonishingly successful for some humans since archaeologists discovered some implants on the jawbone.

The 16th Century


During the 16th century is when people began creating dentures that work similarly to that we currently use. This appears to have come from Japanese woodworkers who made dentures utilizing materials such as glue and beeswax. One century later, this technique was adopted by western civilization as inventors began to create dentures using material porcelain. During the 18th century, sugar was very popular in Europe which led to people missing teeth. Therefore, there was an increased need for dentures and tooth repairs. Even though there were porcelain dentures, they were susceptible to chipping and very expensive hence only wealthy people could afford them.

The 17th Century


Considering how fragile and expensive porcelain teeth were, people looked for other alternatives for replacing teeth. During the Waterloo battle in 1815, people found a notable solution where they used teeth from dead soldiers. These dentures could take about six weeks to make and had an ivory base. However, these teeth had no blood supply and deteriorated easily and fell out quickly. When there were no bodies to scavenge, people would donate their teeth in exchange for money. Due to demand for new teeth some goldsmiths started experimenting with creating dentures with porcelain and gold plates. A contraption was made in 1820 using these materials and additional swivels and springs to make it more natural. These materials were widely used up to when acrylic materials took over as a base in the 20th century.

20th Century


The 20th century marked the major move in dentistry and dental technology in general. This is when dentures were created using composite resin, acrylic resin, acrylic, and porcelain. These dentures are created to last for seven years and fit a person’s jaw to exact specifications. 21st century, modern and advanced dentures mimic natural teeth exactly. The advent of digital imaging and improved x-rays allowed dentists to create dentures that look like the original teeth.

Our dentist at Jason Widner DMD Family Dentistry provides the community with the innovative and latest technology in dental care. If you would like to schedule an appointment with our dentist, please call us today.
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