What Are Dentures, Exactly?

What Are Dentures, Exactly? Dentures have been around for some time, although it’s safe to say they have come a long way! The technology and process for dentures has significantly evolved, to the point where you can now obtain same day dentures.

The First Dentures

Dentures have been around for a few thousand years. Etruscans in northern Italy first started making dentures in 700BC. They used human or animal teeth to do so. These dentures were simplistic in design and easy to produce, which was a good thing, because the materials deteriorated quickly. This was the primary denture design used until the 1700s.

Developments In The Past Few Hundred Years

The 18th century saw a rise in sugar consumption, which rose over 500%. Sugar, as you may know, rapidly increases the rate of tooth decay. Because dentures had been made from animal or human teeth, not only were people losing their original teeth, but they were then losing the teeth from their dentures as well. As a result, dentures began to be made from natural ivory, coming from walrus, elephant, or hippopotamus. Ivory, although strong, was prone to discoloring. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, a “hybrid” version of dentures was used. These dentures consisted of a mix of human teeth and animal ivory. Often, the human teeth were riveted into a base made of ivory. These were not same day dentures, taking a while to craft and assemble.

Porcelain dentures were also used during this time, but were not very popular. They were prone to chip, and were remarkably white. The brightness was a sign that they were obviously fake.

A goldsmith named Claudius Ash is credited with significantly advancing the denture design. He mounted human teeth on 18-karat gold plates, using gold springs and swivels. This design offered superior functionality, and were much more aesthetically pleasing than previous models. Ash improved his design, using Vulcanite beginning in 1850. Vulcanite is a hardened rubber that provided a base for teeth to be set into. Ash’s company became the leading manufacturer of Vulcanite.

Modern Dentures

The 20th century yielded an updated design, as acrylic resins and other plastics were used. These materials are much more consistent with materials used today

In today’s world, it is almost impossible to tell that someone is wearing dentures, as they are designed to have the look and feel of natural teeth. Color schemes now offer a larger variety of natural colors that will allow sets of dentures to match both your gums and your teeth.

Today’s dentures ensure that they fit and function comfortably. You can now obtain same day dentures while you wait, so that you can protect your smile and restore your oral health in no time!