Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dental Prosthetics From All Eras

Did you know that 35 Million Americans are missing teeth in one or both jaws?

We all know that replacing missing teeth can be expensive and time consuming but replacing teeth is nothing new. Humans have been replacing teeth for decades.

Lets take a look thought the ages of dental prosthetics:

Stone Age:
If someone had a cavity the ancient dentist would scraped out the hole using a stone tool and then would fill it with bitumen (a tarry substance).

Gold Teeth:
Gold made its debut about 2,500 years ago, and dentistry took full advantage. One of the earliest uses of gold wire was to hold teeth together. Gold was able to interact with water, air, food and the environment of a persons mouth without causing rust or wearing.  Picture below is an example of a gold bridge.

Early unambiguous (and rare) examples of prosthetics were fashioned entirely from gold, predating the Roman empire.

Pre-Roman Bridges:
Etruscans crafted some of the oldest known prosthetics and have made one of the earliest attempts at bridges. The picture below is a replica of an Etruscans bridge from around 1901.

Etruscan bridges are among the oldest known dental prosthetics.

Paul Revers, Tool maker:
One of Paul's many talents included dentistry. He would make dental prosthetics using ivory. In 1775, Paul was able to identify the body of a friend thanks to a bridge he crafted himself. This is where the use of dental records and prosthetics came into play when they need to identify bodies.

Along with gold, ivory has historically been a popular material for dental prosthetics.

Modern era:
Modern prosthetics are now made from ceramic. Today, dental prosthetics are held firmly to a patients jaw and are often indistinguishable from natural teeth!

An example of a ceramic dental crown on a model jaw.

Imagines and more information can be found here!

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