How Far Cosmetic Dentistry Has Come: A Brief History Breakdown
People have been enhancing their appearance for thousands of years, and when it comes to smiles, there is certainly no exception. For many, smile enhancements were a sign of higher status that only the wealthiest individuals could afford. Today, it’s become easier for people to afford and safer to complete than ever. The next time you’re considering cosmetic dentistry in Park Cities, Dallas, you can also reflect just how far our species has come (and how cosmetic dentistry is only getting better!)
How Ancient Civilizations Enhanced Teeth
As far back as 700 B.C., civilizations were trying to replace teeth with materials that would be completely unheard of in today’s times. For example, the Etruscans were found to have made dentures from ivory and bone. In some cases, animal and human teeth were taken from the dead and utilized to replace missing teeth. Additionally, they would make use of gold to create dental crowns and bridges and used a combination of pumice stone and vinegar to create toothpaste that was meant to remove stains from teeth. It’s also been recorded that the ancient Romans would use their own urine to remove tooth stains, mainly because of the ammonia. Many historians note that it was more commonly used as a mouthwash. Thankfully, dentists aren’t recommending that today (or even hundreds of years ago.)
Barbers Were Dentists at One Point?
Dentistry did not always have the special recognition it does today. In fact, the role of dentist was mainly reserved to barbers, who would file teeth and apply specific coats of material to make them whiter. Of course, we now know that this would actually destroy the enamel permanently. Nowadays, barbers have completely given up working on teeth and dentists are in their own dedicated field.
A Turning Point in Dentistry
In the 1700s, a major shift occurred in the field of cosmetic dentistry. This was when people discovered that porcelain was a fantastic option for dentures. New research was being conducted, including the placement of metal inside of tooth sockets to replace teeth. Unfortunately, it would be a long time until scientists found the right material that the body wouldn’t reject (titanium). Either way, porcelain quickly became extremely popular. Additionally, dentists began using molds with plaster to ensure a more comfortable fit for dentures. In the 1900s, porcelain was found to be not quite as economical as other materials. Instead, plastics and acrylics were used as they could be designed to effectively blend in with teeth and be far more affordable. Acrylics even remain a staple in cosmetic dentistry today!
What Cosmetic Dentistry Looks Like Today
Nowadays, cosmetic dentistry is more comprehensive and personalized than ever. Not only are the materials more reliable and customized, but cosmetic dentistry includes a wider variety of treatments. Teeth whitening, veneers, direct bonding, and metal-free restorations are the standard, but other services like gum recontouring (modifying the gums) and digital smile previews are more commonplace in dental offices across the country. In summary, there’s no better time to get your smile enhanced than in the 21st century. Schedule an appointment with a dentist today and learn how to achieve your dream smile!
About the Author
Dr. Brumbaugh has over 25 years of experience in his field and has completed many restorative and cosmetic-based programs to expand his expertise in dentistry. He was even invited to join the teaching faculty at the Center of Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. To schedule a cosmetic consultation, you can contact him through his website.
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