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Cosmetic Dentistry Is an Ancient Practice—How Far Has It Come?

July 14, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — compassdentalga @ 8:00 pm
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Cosmetic dentistry as we think of it today really began in the 1980s when resin cement was invented, but this is not to say that people didn’t try to make their teeth more beautiful in centuries before that. You might be happy to learn that dental science has come a long way from practices such as replacing human teeth with those of animals and brushing teeth with vinegar and pumice stone. Read on to find out what dentistry was like in previous millennia.

What Was Primitive Dentistry Like?

As long ago as 700 B.C., the Etruscans fashioned dentures from animal products such as ivory, bone, and teeth. Some of these dentures even used human teeth. On the other hand, the ancient Egyptians had their own ways of doing things. While using gold to make crowns and bridges might sound fair enough, they also practiced replacing lost teeth by hammering seashells into their gums.

The ancient Romans had an interesting concoction for the cleaning of teeth: they simply used their own urine like mouthwash. While the ammonia in the liquid was effective at removing stains, people today would probably find modern options such as toothpaste to be much more tasteful.

In the Middle Ages, dentistry was considered to be part of a barber’s job alongside things like surgery and leech-assisted controlled bleeding. Barbers would provide such services as filing or applying a white coating to the teeth. Unfortunately, this coating had the side effect of destroying the teeth’s enamel. Medieval dentistry also saw making dentures out of bone and ivory made a comeback though they were quite uncomfortable.

When Did Dentistry Stop Being So Primitive?

Dentists started using porcelain for dentures in the Eighteenth Century, beginning an era of dramatic improvement in dental methods. In the Nineteenth Century, people tried implanting metal replica teeth in empty sockets with little success. Dentists also started employing molds with plaster to make better-fitting dentures.

The Twentieth Century saw the porcelain material in crowns and dentures give way to more economical materials like plastics and acrylics which are still used today. As people started demanding whiter teeth, the focus of dentistry shifted to making them more beautiful and natural-looking. With the modern age of cosmetic dentistry reaching its full swing in this era, veneers, fillings, and implants became a massive part of the dental industry.

While ancient people used animal parts, human urine, and hammers to beatify their teeth, we have lasers and anesthesia to do the job today. Nowadays you can have a whole smile makeover using two or more transformative dental services available to modern dentists to achieve your dream smile.

About the Author

Dr. Charles Fana received his dental degree from the University of Louisville and now leads Compass Dental in Savannah, GA. Using the latest in dental technology, he brings his patients feats of dentistry thought impossible only a few years before. To learn more about modern options in cosmetic dentistry including smile makeovers, contact him on his website or at (912) 352-3955.

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