A History of False Teeth

For a long time, humans have relied on false teeth to make up for their missing teeth. As we get older, tooth decay, gum disease, and even genetics can eventually cause us to lose our teeth. Thank goodness for false teeth! But how did people in ancient times deal with this issue? Over time, humans have changed how they eat which caused detrimental changes to our teeth. Technology to better improve false teeth have always been developing to what we know today.

Ancient Times

False teeth trace back as far as 700BC when Romans in northern Italy were making false teeth out of animal teeth. After the fall of the Roman empire, false teeth reemerged in the 1700s when people were eating more and more sugar. The ancient way was practical and easy but not very durable. They were made from a material called “Ivory” which was found in the teeth of larger animals.

1700s – 1800s

As false teeth began to reemerge, people who needed them realized that they were best made with porcelain, gold, silver, and rubber. These materials were ideal because they were better for eating. Older materials would decay a lot faster from eating.
At the time, dentures were used by the wealthy. George Washington, an early wearer of false teeth, had a full set at age 57 made out of ivory and human teeth, and not wood as many assume.

“Waterloo Dentures”

Waterloo dentures refer to the false teeth manufactured after the battle of Waterloo in 1815. The battle of Waterloo saw 50,000 casualties which led people to begin manufacturing dentures using their teeth. The Waterloo dentures were in high demand for a long time after that.

Modern Times

Even as we advance with modern solutions to maintaining healthy teeth, there is still a need for dentures. And these days, anyone can have dentures. Dentures are now made with materials like acrylic resin, metal, porcelain and ceramics so they are easy and inexpensive to manufacture. Many places are even making 3D printed dentures.
For those who have only one or two teeth missing, they are now able to have those teeth replaced by having an artificial implant. Now more than ever, dentures and dental implants are easily accessible for whenever you might need them.