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The History of Cosmetic Dentistry

Significant changes took place in aesthetic dentistry over the centuries of its history. Because of modern technologies, a lot of methods in the field of cosmetic dentistry appeared in a short time. The most popular procedures – whitening, implants, installation of veneers and so on have changed the usual understanding of dentistry. However, people’s desire to improve the condition of their teeth appeared many years ago.

Ancient times

We know a little about cosmetic dentistry in ancient times. Etruscans created prostheses from ivory, bones or teeth of other animals and even human teeth. Despite the fact that such constructions smelled awful and ruined quickly, this method of prosthetics existed until the beginning of the 19th century.

Ancient Egyptians used shells as a material for prosthetics. They also invented a toothpaste based on particles from pumice and vinegar. The ancient Romans even added urine to the toothpaste. It sounds disgusting, but the ammonia contained in the urine has natural whitening properties. It was used even in the 18th century for the same purpose.

Medieval Europe

In Europe, barbers provided dental services to ordinary people. The Barber Guild was formed in 1210, which also included dentists and hygienists. However, by the beginning of the 15th century, they were forbidden to carry out dental procedures. Nevertheless, they were not forbidden to perform teeth cleaning. Barbers covered the teeth with acids to whiten enamel. But regular teeth whitening procedures lead to caries.

The Renaissance

For the next few centuries, dentists experimented with different materials for restoration. In the 15th century, prostheses were made from ivory and animal bones. Unfortunately, they caused a lot of inconveniences. In the 18th century, implants were made from human teeth but soon it became clear that such material often causes rejection.

The modern period

At the end of the 18th century, the prosthesis was made of ceramics, but the first prosthetics was performed only in 10 years. In the early 19th century, ceramic prostheses were brought to the United States.

During the 19th century, ceramic artificial teeth were a popular option. Vulcanized rubber served as the basis for artificial teeth and the wearing of a prosthesis became more comfortable. Researchers did not stop to look for ways to use ceramics for teeth restoration. Finally in 1903 Charles Land developed porcelain dental crowns.

But ceramic crowns didn’t provide high functionality and long life span. Later the crowns became stronger due to the use of metal and ceramic alloy. At the beginning of the 20’s century, acrylic and plastic were used for the manufacture of prostheses.

Contemporary history

Cosmetic dentistry had to face a number of problems. Removable dentures were inconvenient and non-functional and various procedures were extremely painful. The 20th-century dentists wanted to create a natural smile and painless restorations.

The 1990s gave birth to a new era of cosmetic dentistry as a separate branch of dentistry. Today teeth whitening, the installation of dental veneers and implants are considered to be standard procedures that are offered in most dental clinics.

Teeth whitening

Various solutions were used to whiten enamel in the 19th century but the result did not always correspond to the wishes of the patient. The method of bleaching with hydrogen peroxide was developed in the 20th century.

In 1989, two American dentists, Dr. Haywood, and Dr. Heiman started to use carbamide peroxide as a bleaching material. It was one of the most significant discoveries in cosmetic dentistry over the years.

Laser teeth whitening

Laser technologies began to be used in dentistry in the 1960s but only for the treatment of periodontal diseases. In 1996, the US Food and Drug Administration permitted the usage of lasers for teeth whitening.

The whitening agent is applied to the teeth surface and heated with the help of the laser. Millions of successful laser whitening procedures have been performed in the world.

Composite fillings

The first white filling material was created by Michael Buonocore in 1955. He also described the technique of acid etching, which increases the adhesion of acrylic fillings with tooth enamel. This technique was a real breakthrough in cosmetic dentistry.

In 1962, Rafael Brown invented a complex of thermosetting resins, but it gained popularity only in 1980 when the system for curing composite fillings was developed.

The future of the cosmetic dentistry

History is written day by day and we are observing the appearance of trends that will become routine procedures tomorrow. Among the trends for the future is 3D printing of teeth and growing teeth with stem cells. And maybe genetic changes that will allow having more than 2 sets of teeth in a lifetime.

by https://albanydental.com/

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