Dentures Trivia: History

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False teeth are probably the most boring thing ever. And who would argue that? Truth is often stranger than fiction, and dentures have a fascinating history.

This may be less than easy to grasp, but tooth decay isn’t an exclusively American invention. For millennia, humans have faced the problem of tooth decay and tried to defeat it. In ancient Egypt, some of the world’s first “dentists” used wire to string together false teeth to replace missing ones. Later, in northern Italy, early dentists wired together human and animal teeth to make primitive false teeth. And as cool as these treatments were, the Japanese invention has both of them beat.

Around the early 1500s, Japanese dentists utilized softened beeswax to fashion a model of the mouth. The model was then filled with harder beeswax, and that became a model of the mouth used by carvers to fashion wooden false teeth. The roots of this method have been traced to a Buddhist temple, and one of the most famous owners of these dentures was the priestess Nakaoka Tei. Although wooden dentures may seem ancient in our day and age, the world wouldn’t create anything similar to Japan’s denture technology for approximately 300 years.

Dentures today are usually created from stain-resistant and tough materials, such as plastics and resins, so we probably won’t be able to fashion any wooden dentures for you. Are you looking to have your teeth inspected? Maybe you need dentures in Sandy Springs, Georgia? Please give a call to Vernon Woods Dental and Implant Center at 404-692-7913 now. Dr. Kathleen Tantuco and our staff will do all they can to improve your smile.