Dentistry can be traced as far back as 7,000 BC. Ancient dentistry involved experienced craftsmen acting as oral surgeons and using bow drills to work on a person’s teeth. But dentistry then was vastly different from what we’re used to. Preventive dental care was not clearly understood, causing many people to lose their teeth early in life.
Dentures or false teeth were used to replace missing teeth—there’s evidence that false teeth were used in 700 BC. Early dentures were mounted on anything from hard metals to soft wood. Artificial teeth may have been made of:
• Real teeth, specifically teeth from deceased people or dead animals
• Ivory from hippos or elephants
• Silver metal
• Gold metal
It is unheard of today to use a dead person’s teeth for your dentures, but this practice was common in the early 1800s when wars were raging all over Europe. A large number of deaths meant huge supplies of human teeth. Literally barrels of teeth were shipped from Europe and sold all over the world to be used in people’s dentures.
Today, dentures are made of high-grade porcelain that look and function like real teeth. In fact, modern dentures are so cunningly made that your friends may have a hard time telling that you’ve had dental work done. Compared to early dentures made of wood or plastic, modern dentures not only look natural, they also last a very long time.
Dentures have come a long way since the early days of dentistry. From ill-fitting and fake-looking dentures of the past, technology has given people natural-looking and long-lasting dentures.
Dr. Matiasevich Jr. offers many cost-effective solutions for missing teeth, including dental implants and mini implants that provide a stable anchor for your new teeth. Visit your Santa Cruz implant dentist today or call us to set up a consultation.