Modern-day treatments like teeth whitening, veneers, and Invisalign clear aligners allow patients to correct issues with their pearly whites and attain the smiles they’ve always wanted. As helpful as cosmetic dentistry is, it’s come a long way from what it used to be. Read on to learn about the history of cosmetic dentistry and how it’s evolved over the years.
Ancient Cosmetic Dentistry
In 700 B.C., the Etruscans of ancient Italy made dentures to replace missing teeth. They used materials like ivory, bone, animal teeth, and the teeth of deceased humans. In ancient Egypt, seashells were used to replace missing teeth, and they crafted bridges and crowns out of gold. Ancient Romans whitened teeth using urine because the ammonia contained in it worked as a bleaching agent. Luckily, we now have much more effective (and less disgusting) ways to whiten teeth.
In the Middle Ages, barbers were the ones who performed dental work. They would file down the teeth of their customers before using a special coating to make them whiter. Unfortunately, this would eventually destroy the enamel and the tooth itself. Europeans continued to use bone and ivory to make dentures, but they weren’t very comfortable. They also once again tried to use human teeth from the deceased, but these were often rejected by the body.
The Age of Enlightenment
Starting in the 1700s, cosmetic dentistry improved dramatically. This is when porcelain was beginning to be used for dentures. Even so, there were still some missteps along the way. In the 1800s, metals were placed in the sockets of missing teeth to fill in the gaps, but the body rejected them just like the teeth of the deceased. Fortunately, porcelain teeth were becoming more popular and dentists began to use plaster molds to make dentures fit better.
20th Century and Modern Cosmetic Dentistry
The 20th century is when cosmetic dentistry really began to boom. The materials used for cosmetic treatments began to change at the beginning of the 1900s. Porcelain wasn’t affordable for most people, so more economical materials like plastics and acrylics were used to create dentures and dental crowns. To this day, acrylic is still used to make dentures along with materials like nylon, porcelain, resin, and metal.
It was around this time when a lot more focus was being put on making teeth look healthier and more aesthetically appealing with treatments like teeth whitening as well as restorative treatments that offer visual benefits like fillings and implants. Additionally, veneers were invented in the 1930s to give film stars the gorgeous grins they’re famous for.
As you can see, cosmetic dentistry has come a long way. So, if you want to improve the look of your teeth, reach out to your cosmetic dentist for a consultation. You’ll be on your way to a smile you love in no time!
About the Practice
If you aren’t satisfied with the look of your pearly whites, there’s no reason why you need to settle for a smile you aren’t proud of. At the dental office of Dr. Joshua Holcomb, they offer a range of cosmetic treatments, including porcelain veneers, Invisalign, teeth whitening, and full smile makeovers. With so many options available, the smile you’ve always wanted is within your reach. Do you want more information on their cosmetic dental services or are you interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Joshua Holcomb? If so, call his office at (901) 850-0300 or visit his website today.