The Origin of Dentures

You may think that dentures are the most boring thing ever. Or at least that’s what you think, huh? Actually, dentures have a fascinating history.

This may be less than easy to grasp, but tooth decay isn’t an exclusively American discovery. For millennia, humans have wrestled the problem of tooth loss and tried to solve it. In ancient Egypt, some of the first “dentists” used wire to string together false teeth to replace decayed ones. Later, in Europe, early dentists strung together human and animal teeth to fashion primitive false teeth. And as cool as these options were, the Japanese invention has got both of them beat.

Around the early 16th century, Japanese dentists utilized softened beeswax to fashion an impression of the oral cavity. The beeswax impression was then filled with harder beeswax, and that became a model of the mouth used by carvers to create wooden dentures. The beginnings of this method have been traced to a Buddhist temple, and one of the most prominent owners of these wooden dentures was the priestess Nakaoka Tei. Although wooden dentures may seem ancient today, the world wouldn’t develop similar solutions to Japan’s denture process for the next 300 years.

Dentures today are usually fashioned from stain-resistant and strong materials, such as plastics and resins, so we probably won’t be able to make any wooden dentures for you. Are you looking to have your teeth inspected? Maybe you need dentures in Sacramento, California? Please give a call to Gateway Oaks Dental at 916-649-0249 now. Dr. Hoang Truong and our staff will do all they can to improve your smile.