How Cosmetic Dentistry Has Evolved Throughout the Years

October 7, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — nelsondentalcare @ 12:09 am
Cosmetic dentistry in history

Going back a few decades, going to the dentist was typically about addressing dental issues and getting essential treatment. Today, this is still the number one priority of your dentist, but elective procedures are becoming more and more common. But just because interest has grown in cosmetic dentistry doesn’t mean that it is a new phenomenon. In fact, cosmetic dentistry has been around since ancient times! Read on to learn how it evolved throughout the centuries.

Ancient Cosmetic Dentistry

Going back to approximately 700 B.C., the Etruscans attempted to replace teeth from numerous different materials. Dentures were often made from ivory and bone. Animal teeth or the teeth of deceased humans were also used to construct the restoration. Ancient Egyptians would use seashells as a way to replace their missing teeth. Crowns and bridges were crafted using gold. As for teeth whitening, the Ancient Romans would use urine because of its ammonia content. Fortunately, we have much more effective (and less gross) whitening methods today.

Medieval Dentistry

Back in the Middle Ages, dentistry was the job of a barber. They would file down teeth and use a special coating to make them whiter. However, this would eventually destroy the protective enamel of the teeth and the tooth itself. Europeans continued to use bone and ivory to replace missing teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry of the Enlightenment

Beginning in the 1700s, cosmetic dentistry was improving dramatically. This is when they began using porcelain to make dentures. During this time dentists would also attempt to use metal to fill the sockets of missing teeth, but the body would reject it. Porcelain teeth were becoming increasingly popular.

20th Century Aesthetic Dentistry

At the start of the 1900s, the materials being used for cosmetic treatments was changing. Since porcelain was not affordable for most, the dental industry turned to more economical materials, like plastics and acrylics, to create crowns and dentures. To this day, acrylic is used to make dentures.

The Modern Era of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry has been around a long time, but it really started to boom throughout the 20th century until now. There has been a lot more focus on enhancing beautiful, healthy-looking teeth. Popular techniques have included teeth whitening, dental veneers, fillings, and dental implants. It wasn’t until the 1930s that veneers were invented to be used by film stars. In 1937, the first screw dental implant was created. There are all sorts of new techniques and technologies out there, and they are improving every single day!

Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way in the last few millennia, and it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. With more people valuing the power of a beautiful smile, as well as additional disposable income in American families, the industry will continue to boom!

About the Author

Dr. James Nelson pursued his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in New Orleans and has studied at the Spear Institute so he can provide a wider range of high-quality dental services to his patients in Metairie. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Louisiana Dental Association, New Orleans Dental Association, and Academy of General Dentistry. To learn more about cosmetic dentistry or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nelson, visit his website or call (504) 887-3311.