cosmetic dentistry

What You Probably Don’t Know About Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry dates back thousands of years with people brushing their teeth with sticks in 3000 B.C. The ancient Egyptians were far ahead of their time using gold for dental bridges and dental crowns.

Although those oral hygiene habits may seem barbaric, they are much tamer when you consider that some people hammered seashells into their jawbone to replace missing teeth.

The History of Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Mike Morris from Chittenden Dental explains that although there is not much documentation regarding early cosmetic dentistry procedures, historians do know that ancient civilizations would use materials such as bone and ivory, human, and animal teeth for missing teeth.

In 200 B.C., the Etruscans made dentures from bone and ivory. Another common material for missing teeth during that time was animal or human teeth that were extracted by live or dead donors. Obviously, the live donors were paid for their extracted teeth.

As you can imagine, those dental restorations were smelly, and rotted quickly. Amazingly, these dental procedures continued well through the 1800s.

In 200 AD, dentists used gold for dental crowns and dental bridges. Although it was probably for restorative purposes, it made a real fashion statement.

The Ancient Egyptians and Romans

The Ancient Egyptians not only used seashells for missing teeth, but also brushed their teeth with vinegar and crushed pumice stone.

The Romans went one-step further brushing their teeth with toothpaste made from urine. Urine contains ammonia and used until the 18th century.

The Mayans and Cosmetic Dentistry

The Mayans were a sparkly bunch embellishing the fronts of their teeth with semi precious stones. Obviously, there were no electric or pneumatic drills so the dentists in the day used a bow drill for holes in the fronts of the teeth. Typically, the Mayans would drill the front teeth, four to six of them. Purely cosmetic, they were a bit like porcelain veneers.

Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry has changed. Procedures such as dental implants, porcelain veneers  and dental bonding look natural. With today’s techniques, you do not have to deal with cosmetic dentistry techniques of old.

If you are considering cosmetic dentistry, call or click and schedule an appointment with Chittenden Dental. 


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