How Dentures Have Evolved Over Time

older person wearing dentures and smiling

Are you or someone dear to you facing the challenge of missing several or all of your teeth? There’s great news for the 120 million Americans grappling with this issue. Dentures, once simple in their design, have undergone remarkable evolution to become the durable and natural-looking restorations we know today. Continue reading to learn about the evolution of dentures, showcasing the incredible advancements made since their inception.

Early Dentures

The history of dentures stretches back to 700 B.C., where early iterations were fashioned from materials like ivory, animal bones, and human teeth, often secured with gold wires. However, these primitive models prioritized appearance over functionality, proving uncomfortable and susceptible to pressure during eating and speaking.

In the 16th century, Japan saw a pivotal moment with the emergence of the earliest surviving complete dentures, crafted from wood and shaped using beeswax impressions, signifying a significant leap forward. As time progressed, materials like human and animal teeth, as well as pagodite stone, were incorporated into denture production.

Despite the misconception surrounding George Washington’s wooden teeth, his dentures were actually crafted from a carved hippopotamus ivory plate, reinforced with horse, donkey, and human teeth to replace his missing ones. Despite their association with wealth, these dentures posed challenges such as staining, odors, and discomfort, persisting until the early 1800s.

The Introduction of Porcelain Dentures

During the 1700s, Europe witnessed a surge in tooth loss attributed to increased sugar consumption. In 1774, British physician Alexis Duchâteau made a significant breakthrough by crafting the first set of porcelain dentures. This milestone was further advanced by English silversmith Claudius Ash in the 1820s, who enhanced the functionality of dentures by introducing gold plates, springs, and swivels.

By the mid-1800s, a more affordable alternative to porcelain dentures emerged: dentures made from hardened rubber. These not only offered cost-effectiveness but also provided a customized fit for various gum shapes, maintaining popularity across all economic strata well into the 20th century until acrylic resin became the preferred material of choice.

Dentures Today

In contemporary times, dentures are crafted from plastics and acrylic resin, offering a secure, long-lasting, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing dental solution. Additionally, modern dentures provide the following advantages:

  • Enhance biting strength, facilitating enjoyment of a diverse, nutritious diet
  • Provide the convenience of being removable and easy to maintain
  • Deliver enhanced comfort compared to conventional dentures
  • Restore facial support, minimizing the appearance of sagging

After centuries of advancements in dental care, dentures have reached a state of excellence, offering patients a stunning, resilient, and enduring smile!

About the Practice

At Smile Rejuvenations of Southwest Florida, we prioritize creating a comfortable and safe environment for our patients in Bonita Springs. If you’re facing the loss of multiple or all of your teeth, our dependable dentures offer a solution to restore your smile, allowing you to enjoy eating, laughing, and embracing life fully once again. For more information about dentures or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Smile Rejuvenations of Southwest Florida at (239) 300-2767 or visit our website.