June 14, 2023
Cosmetic dentistry encompasses a range of treatments that primarily enhance the aesthetics of a person’s smile. It can address issues like chips, cracks, misshapen teeth, gaps, discoloration, and more. Popular methods for smile improvement include porcelain veneers and teeth whitening, among others, which have evolved significantly over the years. Continue reading to explore the history of cosmetic dentistry and how it has progressed over time.
Ancient Cosmetic Dentistry
In 700 B.C., the Etruscan people of ancient Italy crafted dentures using materials like ivory, animal teeth, and even human teeth from deceased individuals. Meanwhile, ancient Egyptians used seashells as replacements for missing teeth and created dental bridges and crowns from gold.
Surprisingly, ancient Romans used urine to whiten their teeth, as it contained ammonia and acted as a bleaching agent. Thankfully, we have now moved beyond such unsavory methods, and modern dentistry offers many safer, hygienic, and more effective ways to achieve brighter smiles.
During the Middle Ages, barbers were responsible for dental work as well. To create the illusion of whiter teeth, they filed them down and applied a special coating. Although this temporarily improved smiles, it ultimately led to the destruction of the patient’s enamel and tooth structure over time.
Additionally, people in Europe relied on ivory and bone to craft dentures. Regrettably, these restorations were not very comfortable.
The Age of Enlightenment
The 1700s brought significant advancements in cosmetic dentistry, particularly with the use of porcelain to create dentures. However, not all progress during this era was successful. For instance, the placement of metal in the sockets of missing teeth was often rejected by the body in the 1800s. On the bright side, the era saw the rise in popularity of porcelain teeth and dentists adopting plaster molds to enhance denture fit.
The 20th Century and Modern Cosmetic Dentistry
The 20th century witnessed a booming growth in the cosmetic dental field, marked by significant changes in the materials used for treatments at the start of the 1900s. As dental-grade porcelain remained costly for many, more affordable materials like acrylics and plastics were utilized to create dentures and dental crowns. Today, acrylic is still common, as well as porcelain, resin, nylon, and metal.
During this era, people also began emphasizing both aesthetically appealing and healthy-looking teeth. Treatments like teeth whitening, dental crowns, and implants played a key role in achieving this goal. The introduction of veneers in the 1930s, initially for film stars seeking temporary smile improvements, was later made available to the general public.
Cosmetic dentistry has undergone significant advancements, becoming a safe and effective method for enhancing your smile’s appearance. If you’re dissatisfied with your current smile, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist to explore the best treatment options for you!
About the Practice
Purple Plum Dentistry provides exceptional dental care to patients residing in Falls Church and the surrounding communities. Their services include treatments to maintain the health of your teeth and cosmetic procedures that can give you the smile you’ve always desired. With their expert assistance, you’ll soon be displaying a smile you adore! For more information on their cosmetic services or to schedule an appointment, call Purple Plum Dentistry’s office at (703) 998-4244 or visit their website.
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