The History of Dentures

Dentures have been in use for a very long time dating back to the ancient Romans during the 5th century BC. They were more common due to the lack of knowledge about overall health and hygiene at the time. They only used partial dentures out of human or animal teeth fastened together using gold bands.

It wasn’t until the 16th century in Japan that the use of fully wooden dentures became a standard. Softened bees wax was inserted into the patients mouth to create an impression. They would then fill the mold with a harder bees wax. Using the model they would carve dentures out of wood. These earlier dentures were entirely made using wood, later they implemented natural human teeth or ivory.

In the 1700s dentures were constructed using a metal frame with teeth sculpted from animal bone. Later during the century the first porcelain dentures were made. Vulcanite, a form of hardened rubber was used as a frame with porcelain teeth set into the frame. In 1968 an Adult Dental Health survey revealed that 79% of those aged 65-74 had no natural teeth.

Today dentures are fabricated in a commercial dental laboratory or by a denturist using a combination of tissue shaded powders and acrylic formed to a mold of the patients mouth. The acrylics are available as heat cured or cold cured types. You can learn more about our Denture restorative process by visiting our Denture page.