Cosmetic Dentistry: A Brief History

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 The Brief History of Cosmetic Dentistry

dental-veneer-historyIt’s been recognized that throughout history people have cared about the look of their smile. American stories talk about George Washington’s famed wooden teeth as a functional and fashionable look fit for a president (although it is a myth!).

Ancient Etruscans have said to use animal teeth, bone and ivory to make dentures. Early Egyptians were even said to have conceived dental implants–performed by hammering seashells into their gums. 

Although these practices sound barbaric and unsanitary (and they were), methods such as these indicate how far dentistry has come over the years. Take porcelain for example. By 1903 porcelain, a material earlier used primarily for dentures, was now being used for other dental applications such as the “porcelain jacket crown” developed by Charles Land. Fifty-six years later, the introduction of etching allowed advancements in dental porcelain applications worldwide.

Porcelain dental work has come a long way since the “jacket crown” and for good reason. Early work lacked the structural integrity needed to make them comfortable and hygienic for daily use. By the 1950s porcelain was fused to metal and modern dentistry began to take shape.

Cosmetic Dentistry Today

George-Washington-teethThe term “cosmetic dentistry” was coined in the 1990s when dentists marketed aesthetic procedures such as teeth bleaching, composite fillings, dental veneers, and dental implants as a beautification procedure, removing some of the negative associations of going to the dentist.

Today it’s so much more. Technology has blended the traditional process with computer software to make dental procedures better, faster, and function better than they did in the 90s.

Once thought to be just for the rich and famous, cosmetic dentistry is now more affordable than ever. Unfortunately, the more dental professionals that move into the art of cosmetic dentistry, the more that can go wrong. Make sure your dentist practices cosmetic procedures frequently to ensure a smooth delivery.

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