Set of full and partial dentures against a white background

Dentures have been around a long time, but they’ve also undergone a lot of evolution. If you need dentures today, you might have an outdated image in your mind. Here’s what you can expect:

Dentures Way, Way Back

The history of dentures is actually a fascinating one. Dentures discovered in Mexico date back to 2500 BC and were made of what appears to be wolf teeth. And around 700 BC, Etruscans used gold wire or bands to attach human and animal teeth inside a person’s mouth.

By the 16th century, the first recorded wood dentures appeared in Japan, and during the 18th century, dentists were once again experimenting with dentures made of human and animal teeth but adding carved ivory.

For the record, George Washington's dentures we're not, as legend claims, made of wood. Rather, they contained ivory from elephants and hippos, gold, real human teeth, and rivets and springs.

Dentures in the Recent Past

Today, modern technology makes dentures more comfortable and easy to use, but the original “modern” dentures often were difficult to fit and attach, were not very durable, and we're usually uncomfortable. As dentists worked to improve what people then called false teeth, different materials and techniques were tried.

  • Elephant, walrus, and hippopotamus ivory got the job done, but they rarely looked natural and tended to quickly decay.
  • Near the end of the 18th century, dentures made of human teeth became the fashion, which continued into the late 1860s.
  • When Charles Goodyear discovered flexible rubber in 1851, it became a more comfortable base for false teeth and for the first time, dentures were an affordable option for everyone, not just the rich and wealthy.

And even though porcelain false teeth first appeared in the 1700s, they really didn't take hold as an option until the late 1800s, after many improvements to strength and texture had been made.

Dentures Today

Luckily, the 20th and 21st centuries yielded new materials and technologies for full and partial dentures, with acrylic resin and other plastics becoming the materials of choice. As for the future? Look for exciting 3D printing and other digital innovations!

At Kanehl Dental, we offer a number of dental restoration services, including full and partial dentures and all-on-4 implants.

Full Dentures

All dentures are custom made in a laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth. The number of teeth you've lost determines what type of denture is best. If you're missing all or almost all the teeth along your dental arch, full dentures might be the right solution.

Partial Denture

If you're only missing a few teeth, a partial denture might be the answer. Partial dentures are bridges which replace the empty spaces where your teeth once were and are fixed to your real teeth with crowns. They provide a “real teeth feeling” and help to maintain the position of your remaining natural teeth.

All-On-Four Implants

Many people today are choosing all-on-4 dental implants. They like that they feel more natural than dentures and love that there’s no cleaning solutions, removal, or adhesives involved; maintenance is like taking care of your natural teeth.

Kanehl Dental can help you decide whether a full or partial denture or an All-on-4 denture alternative is right for you. Contact us today to book a consultation and learn more.