The History of Dentures

Dentures have got to be the most boring thing ever. You probably wouldn’t argue that, right? The truth is that dentures have an incredible history.

This may be hard to understand, but tooth decay isn’t an American invention. For much of history, humans have fought the problem of tooth decay and tried to answer it. In the time of ancient Egypt, some of the world’s first “dentists” used golden wire to string together artificial teeth to replace missing ones. Later, in northern Italy, early dentists strung together human and animal teeth to form primitive false teeth. And as awesome as these options were, the Japanese process has both of them beat.

Around the early 1500s, Japanese inventors utilized softened beeswax to fashion a model of the mouth. The impression was then filled with harder beeswax, and that became a model of the mouth used by woodcarvers to fashion wooden dentures. The origination of this method have been traced to a Buddhist temple, and one of the most famous wearers of these dentures was the priestess Nakaoka Tei. Although wooden dentures may seem ancient in our day and age, the world wouldn’t make anything close to Japan’s denture technology for the next 300 years.

Dentures today are formed from more stain-resistant and tough materials, such as plastics and resins, so we probably won’t be able to create any wooden dentures for you. If you need an oral health check-up, please call our New Haven, CT, office at 203-624-5515 now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dr. Joseph Tagliarini and the team at Comprehensive Dental Health.