You might think dentures are a rather modern invention but both dentures and dentistry date back to ancient times. There was a time when adults were expected to have lost all their teeth. That was not that long ago. That is probably why the use of dentures dates back to the Etruscans who lived in Italy between 700 and 650 BC. If you wonder what they used for dentures back then, read on as your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest, fills us in on the history of dentures.
What Were Dentures Made Of?
The very first dentures, found during archeological digs, were made from wood. That may be why it is a common misconception that George Washington, our first president, had wooden dentures. Other ancient dentures were created by twisting together wires and artificial teeth. Although probably very uncomfortable, they were used for chewing and for cosmetic reasons. The Etruscans are believed to have created some of the first dentures made from ivory and bone. They used real teeth from both humans and animals. Most often the teeth were taken from the deceased, but people would actually sell their teeth for money. Dentures made with real teeth smelled putrid and rotted. Even so, their use was continued throughout the 1800s.
Breakthroughs in Denture Materials
It was during the 1800s that porcelain teeth became popular, along with the use of Vulcanite as a rubber base. This was a huge breakthrough because it made denture wearing more comfortable. Finally, in the 1900s the use of acrylic dentures became popular which are still in use today.
About Your Lake Forest Dentist:
Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.