The History of Tooth Replacement

Dental Implant surgery is one of the most common oral procedures today, but you might be surprised to learn the humble origins of this process.

George Washington’s Dentures: Rumor vs Fact

We all believe that George Washington had wooden teeth, but did he really? No. There is no historical record supporting the notion that our first president actually wore teeth made out of wood. He definitely had dental problems, but wood was not a popular material used in tooth replacement. It is recorded that he had dentures made of gold, ivory and even lead.

While the actual source of this rumor is not known, it was probably just that: a rumor. Historical theorists believe that Washington’s favorite set of dentures were his ivory teeth. After time these teeth may have become dark and discolored, eventually giving them the appearance of wood. Luckily, here at The CENTER for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy we don’t use ivory or lead because technology has given us much more effective materials that also aren’t poisonous.

The earliest evidence of tooth replacement is found in China around 2000 B.C. Remains of bodies from this time have been found to have bamboo pegs fastened to the jaw to replace teeth.

The History of “Grillz”

If you’ve ever seen a rap video, you’ve probably seen the popular use of precious metals to replace or even enhance teeth. But Lil Wayne is definitely not the first to pioneer the metal mouth. 2000 year-old remains from Egypt show evidence of tooth replacement with the most precious metals of the time. Mummies have been also discovered to have transplant teeth from other humans. As during Mr. Washington’s time, ivory was a popular material used to help Egyptians’ smiles shine bright.

In 1931, archaeologists in Honduras discovered remains from circa 600 AD. The remains of a Mayan woman had missing teeth replaced with pieces of shell shaped to resemble teeth. The most exciting part of this discovery is that the bone growth around these implants suggests that these shells were not just cosmetic — they were also functional.

Dental Implants Today

We’ve come a long way in four thousand years. Today tooth implantation is much more effective and safe. Implants are actually fused to the bone and offer much more strength and longevity that bridges and dentures. A base actually replaces the root of the tooth. While this heals, a temporary crown is set in place. Soon the implant will be ready to support your beautiful, permanent replacement tooth.

Dental implants are a change that you can feel. Patients receiving implants report more confidence and security while chewing. This is because the process replaces the entire structure of the tooth, not just a portion of it. This is why healthy gums are required in order to qualify for the procedure.

Contact The CENTER for Brentwood Dental Implants

To ensure a successful tooth replacement, it is essential to find the best dental implants in Los Angeles. If you have any questions about dental implants or think you qualify for the procedure, contact Dr. Aalam and Dr. Krivitsky at the CENTER for Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy today to schedule a consultation today. Call us at 310-826-8242.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Public Domain