How Dentures Have Changed Over Time

It seems like major advancements in technology are happening every single day, and these improvements extend to the dental industry as well. Thankfully, the way dental care is handled has vastly improved over the years, making things better for patients in a myriad of ways. Dentures in particular have become more comfortable and natural-looking than ever before with developments in technology and techniques. Let’s go back in time to see just how far dentures have come!


closeup of george washington's nose and mouth

Materials for the Teeth

You’ve probably heard the story about George Washington having dentures of wooden teeth. Turns out it’s just a myth, but the truth isn’t that much more appealing. Washington’s false teeth were made from a variety of materials, including ivory, gold, and lead, and get this: some were even actual human teeth! But it wasn’t just Washington who had such dentures. All across the world, these materials, as well as others such as animal bone and porcelain, were used as artificial teeth.

Today, the false teeth in dentures are made from plastic, which is probably a lot easier to accept compared to having someone else’s teeth in your mouth. Yikes!

Materials for the Base

Historically, the base of dentures was made from wood or from a metal frame. Then from the 1850’s onward, people started using a material called Vulcanite. Vulcanite sounds like a sci-fi invention, but really it’s a type of hardened rubber. It caught on not only because it was affordable, but also because it could be molded to fit a person’s gums, offering a much better fit.

Who Did the Job

Years and years ago, many dentures were made by craftsmen rather than dentists. This isn’t too surprising considering the wide array of materials that were used to construct the things, but not having a professional with extensive knowledge in teeth involved could have meant that the finished dentures didn’t sit so well in someone’s mouth. Nowadays, dentists play a direct role in designing dentures, helping to ensure that they’ll properly fit a patient.

At Jones Creek Family Dentistry, we’re proud to use modern technology and techniques to give you custom dentures that not only look great, but feel great too.

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