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Denture Treatment through the Ages

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Feb 10, 2014 @ 08:02 AM

 

 

Dentures

 

Dentures can be used successfully to replace missing teeth. Whether it’s a partial or complete set of dentures, they’re designed to fit nicely in the mouth to facilitate eating, talking and smiling. But this hasn’t always been the case. Dentures have evolved from crude contraptions to durable, look-like-real teeth. The history of dentistry gives us an interesting look at dentures and how they’ve changed over the years:

  • As early as 2500 BC, ancient tribes in Mexico used animal teeth, reportedly from wolves to act as replacement teeth. They were simply placed in the socket, previously holding the lost teeth.
  • On the other side of the globe, the Etruscans of Italy fabricated gold wire or bands to hold human and animal teeth to act as replacement teeth (circa 700 BC).
  • Archaeology revealed that Egyptian mummies also had teeth replacements held in place by gold and silver wire at around 300 BC.
  • Fast forward to 1500s, the Japanese designed the first recorded set of wooden dentures. Made from Japanese Box, it was supposedly used by priestess Nakaoka Tei. It bore a strong resemblance to modern dentures and they were held in place by suction. The Japanese continued to use wooden dentures until the Meiji era of the late 19th century.
  • At the end of the Renaissance period, in the 1700s, the trend shifted to using human teeth, animal teeth and carved ivory. They didn’t fit well. George Washington used a variety of these dentures and according to history, he wasn’t particularly pleased with these innovations.
  • The Waterloo teeth came into the scene during this time frame. After the battle of Waterloo, many soldiers fell and since teeth were badly needed, scavengers went around removing teeth from the dead and shipping them to Europe to be used for dentures for profit.
  • Real advancements were made when British physician, Alex Duchateau, created the first set of porcelain dentures in 1770. It was far from perfect due to the tendency to shrink during the firing process. Dubois De Chemant, a prominent French dentist of that time overcame the problem and King Louis XVI duly granted him an inventor's patent. He later fled to England and in some accounts, was Duchateau's assistant.
  • In the early 1800s, porcelain teeth became readily available and quite the norm in replacing teeth. However, the denture bases remained ill-fitting until the invention of vulcanite (hardened rubber) in the 1850s.
  • As technology advances, dentures become more durable and functional. In the early 20th century, acrylic resin became the standard material used.

In the last 70 years, dentistry made huge strikes in helping people cope with missing teeth. While dentures remain an option to replace missing teeth, there are now other options such as dental implants and root canal treatments. Modern dentistry stresses prevention as the first line of defense.

Looking for the most modern, denture treatments available?  Give us a call! 717-334-0555

Topics: History of Dentistry, dentures in Gettysburg, Gettysburg Dentures, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist

Where did the Tooth Fairy Come From?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 @ 16:12 PM

Gettysburg dentist tooth fairy

 


 

As kids, most of us received money from the tooth fairy whenever we lost a tooth. Few of us, however, know about the history of the tooth fairy tradition.

The tradition of the tooth fairy began centuries ago in Europe. A child’s first lost tooth was buried in the ground to keep witches from stealing the tooth and using it to cast spells on the child; burying the tooth also ensured the growth of a new tooth in its place.

Children have twenty “baby teeth” and start to lose them around age five or six—around the time they begin going to school. In most cultures this is considered a rite of passage, a sign that the child is growing up. The loss of teeth can be scary and painful for kids, and the tooth fairy helps to soften the blow.

The tooth fairy we now know in the United States emerged in the early 1900s, when the lost baby tooth was placed under a child’s pillow and in its place money appeared. Initially the tooth fairy appeared only after the loss of the first tooth, but as the tradition became more popular the tooth fairy visited a child each time a tooth was lost, until the child stopped believing—after age seven for most children.

The first children’s story written about the tooth fairy—“The Tooth Fairy”, by Lee Rogow, was published in 1949 and the tradition really caught on. By the 1950s, the concept of the tooth fairy began to grow, and more books, cartoons and jokes about the tooth fairy appeared.

In the 1980s the tooth fairy enjoyed a resurgence; during that decade several tooth fairy commercial products became available. One of the most popular was a tooth fairy pillow, with a pocket sewn on the outside to store the tooth and receive the money.

Rosemary Wells, known as the world's leading tooth fairy authority, studied the price paid for teeth from 1900 to 1980 and compared it to the consumer price index. She found that the tooth fairy kept up with inflation. In 2013, the reward left varies by country and the family's economic status, among other factors, but a 2013 survey by Visa Inc. found that American children receive $3.70 per tooth on average.

Submitted by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Topics: History of Dentistry, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Fun Facts about Dental History from Peter Samuels, DDS

Posted by Peter Samuels on Sun, Dec 8, 2013 @ 18:12 PM

dental history

 


 

It's time to dive deep ladies and gents, the History of Dentistry is more interesting than you may think. Though many of us may be apprehensive about our dental checkups, dentistry is one of the oldest forms of formal medical care in human history. Take a look at the bellow fun facts and spread the word, dentistry's colorful and intriguing past will help you greatly appreciate the current practices and technology used today.

  • St Appollonia was one of the first virgin martyrs to suffer during the great uprising in Alexandria. According to legend, St. Appollonia's punishment for her beliefs was to have all of her teeth pulled and shattered. That is why today she is considered the patron saint of dentistry and those suffering from dental pain or apprehension.
  • Think your toothbrush is a modern marvel, Archaeologists say no way. Evidence states the first toothbrush was developed in China during he Tang Dynasty (619-907AD). European travelers brought these curious inventions back with them from their travels to Asia, introducing them to Europe and eventually the entire western world.
  • August Tavieau invented the first dental amalgam in 1816. He developed the amalgam using silver coins and mercury but mysteriously never used them until 10 years later. Eventually the FDA began to regulate the amalgam and it is now considered a medical device under the law.
  • Dental records were first used to identify victims of mass disaster in 1878 after the Vienna Opera House fire. In 1897, they were again used for identification of the 126 poor souls who perished in the infamous fire of Paris, France. This prompted Oscar Amoedo to write the first textbook of forensic dentistry. Since its publication, it has become the foundation for dentistry in forensic science, and has helped criminal investigators solve cases all over the world.

For more information about any aspect ofdentistry, be sure to ask the staff at Samuels Dental Arts P.C. They emphasize anxiety-free, sedation dentistry. Their caring and knowledgeable staff can help you overcome your fear of the dentist and get your oral health back on track.

Submitted by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Topics: History of Dentistry, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg dentist

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