Most people relate cosmetic dentistry with teeth whitening only. However, other multiple procedures make up cosmetic dentistry, including dental bonding, veneers, and implants. These procedures intend to improve the dental appearance and improve a smile.
During 3000 BC, people used sticks to clean their teeth to enhance their appearance. Ancient Egyptians used gold to make dental bridges and dental crowns. They would also use seashells to compensate for missing teeth. The Egyptians also made dentures using bone and ivory.
In some cases, some people would sell their teeth to others. However, these teeth deteriorated quickly and did not have long-lasting results.
Ancient Romans used urine regularly to eliminate teeth stains. Ammonia made urine an effective whitewash due to its ability to break down stains.
The Europeans adopted the bone and ivory replacement method but found it uncomfortable since the body would not accept the tooth. To complement this method, they tried making implants from cadaver teeth. The Europeans used the ivory teeth replacement technique throughout the 1800s.
During the 1100s, barbers performed dental procedures since dentistry was not practiced on its own. Barbers would file the teeth and use an acid coating to whiten the teeth. However, this practice eroded the enamel and gradually destroyed the teeth.
Dental and barber services started to stand on their own in the 1400s. Barbers were restricted from conducting dental surgery but could offer oral hygiene services. The late 1400s saw the introduction of the first bristle toothbrush, which people made from animal hair. In 1938, DuPont introduced the first nylon toothbrush.
Ancient cosmetic dentistry practices were painful and did not always produce desirable results. Modern cosmetic dentistry procedures came about in the 1990s.
Dental veneers, bleaching, and dental implants started gaining popularity during this period. Take a look at how some modern cosmetic dentistry practices have evolved.
Dr. Branemark, a Swedish doctor, introduced osseointegration in 1952. This process helps to fuse titanium into the bone and has dramatically impacted the progression of dental implants. Dr. Branemark started commercializing his discovery in 1981, and the idea of using dental implants became popular in the 1990s.
Charles Pincus introduced dental veneers in the 1930s to temporarily help movie stars look good. These veneers used denture adhesive to keep them in place.
From 1982, dentists could permanently attach porcelain dental veneers to the teeth. Modern veneers are strong, thin, and durable and can go up to 15 years with proper care.
In the 1960s, medical practitioners used laser dentistry to treat gum disease. In 1996, dentists started using dental laser technology to whiten teeth after the FDA approval. This procedure combined a bleaching agent with heat or light to cleanse the teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry has changed a great deal over the past centuries and even decades. Many improvements have been made that have made cosmetic dentistry easier on patients, and improvements are still being made today.