The missing teeth in humans are usually replaced by dentures, or as they are colloquially called false teeth. These teeth are prosthetic items designed to be a substitution for the lost natural teeth and they are supported by the local tissues inside the mouth. Commonly the dentures are replaceable, but the modern technologies have contributed to the development of many different kinds of dentures and some of them are based on tying the prosthetic element with the tissues or the existing teeth, or in some cases dental implants are pre-installed in order to support the dentures. Dentures today are very advanced and they resemble real teeth both in the appearance and in function. In fact, if you look at pictures of dentures, you will hardly be able to recognize that they are not real teeth. Usually, dentures are divided into two main classes, based on the fact if the denture is used as a substitute for teeth located on the mandibular arch, or teeth located on the maxillary arch.
Historically speaking, the dentures are not a recent invention. In fact, their history starts long ago, 2700 years ago. At that time, the Etruscans, people settled in the northern parts of Italy used to create dentures from natural teeth of people and animals. These dentures did not last long, but it was easy to create them and that’s why, in some regions, they were used until the XIX century. There are no pictures of dentures of this kind, but we can only imagine how they looked like. Something similar to the modern complete dentures was produced for the first time in Japan, in the Kii area. These dentures were made of wood and the makers tried to mimic the structure of the lost teeth. These teeth were used in Japan for quite a while. The history of the dentures and dentistry itself, changed significantly with the appearance of figures such as Peter de la Roche who is considered one of the first dentists, in the modern sense of the word.
The invention of porcelain dentures
A completely new era in the history of dentures starts around the end of the XVIII century in Europe, a period when the first dentures from porcelain were produced. Porcelain dentures are still in use today and they are appreciated for their similarity to real teeth in terms of appearance, although many claim that if you carefully look at pictures of dentures made from porcelain, you’ll be able to spot the difference. Anyhow, the porcelain dentures were even patented in Britain in 1791 and these new teeth, which were said to resemble the natural teeth, entered the market in 1792. The combination of porcelain dentures with gold plates was introduced in the beginning of the XIX century, in London. Later, during this century some companies started producing and selling dentures made from toughened rubber.
Dentures today are a lot different from dentures in the past and the technology of production is much more sophisticated. There are many various kinds of dentures, each of them has their own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, and, of course, their prices differ too. Many dental offices and clinics today have posters and pictures of dentures on their walls, in order to convince the potential patients how realistic their dentures are.