Thanks to recent advances in cosmetic dentistry, patients now have a wide variety of treatment options for achieving a bright and beautiful smile. Many of these treatments, like same-day crowns and teeth whitening, can be completed in a short amount of time and deliver long-lasting results.
Although restorative treatments such as dental implants are changing how we approach dental care, desiring a luminous smile is nothing new. In fact, cosmetic dentistry has been practiced for thousands of years.
It has been recorded that individuals as early as 3000 BC had used sticks to help pick away food particles from their mouths and clean their teeth. The link between good oral hygiene leading to a better-looking smile is something even the earliest of cultures must have quickly realized.
Around 700 BC the earliest dentures were constructed of ivory and bone. It wasn’t uncommon to have human or animal teeth as well.
The ancient Egyptians weren’t too far off from today as gold was used to create dental crowns and dental bridges. Attempts at restorative treatments included hammering seashells into the gums, making tooth replacements. The Chinese and Greeks would often chew native herbs like mint, tea tree, and eucalyptus to help freshen their breath as well as aid for digestive purposes.
Primitive toothpaste was also crafted by the early Egyptians using a mixture of pumice stone and vinegar to clean stains from their teeth. The early Romans had their own concoction of toothpaste consisting of urine. Although this sounds disgusting, ammonia is a natural whitening agent and variations of their formula were used by numerous civilizations for many centuries.
Medieval Barbers, DDS.
Around 1130 AD, and well into the Middle Ages, barbers were highly involved in dental practices and procedures. They were licensed to perform oral surgery until the early 1200’s when their knowledge was used to aid dental hygiene services only. Filling teeth and using acid to whiten them was short-lived as the acid used during these procedures quickly destroyed the enamel and left teeth corroded.
Eventually, barbers stopped providing dentistry and their skills have been used for grooming and cutting hair exclusively, which is probably for the best.
Look How Far We’ve Come
Humanity has made tremendous strides in dental care practices since our days of using sticks to clean our teeth and crafting toothpaste made with urine. But, without this curiosity and experimentation, we certainly would not be where we are today in cosmetic dentistry.
At Durbin Dental we are proud to offer the community of Elizabethtown innovative comprehensive cosmetic dental care.
If you or a loved one are interested in how Dr. Durbin can cater to your needs using our modern technology, please call or visit our practice today!