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Centuries of Smiles: A Brief History of Cosmetic Dentistry

September 28, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — newhavendental @ 8:15 pm
Woman with beautiful smile thanks to cosmetic dentistry New Haven

Since the beginning of human history, appearance has carried a significant amount of weight. Everything about the way an individual looks tells others something about them, whether it speaks to their economic status, their health, or other things. Our ancient ancestors even placed a great emphasis on the appearance of their teeth! In this blog post, we will explore how cosmetic dentistry has evolved over the centuries.

Ancient Peoples

One of the earliest recorded instances of cosmetic dentistry goes back to 700 BCE, when the Etruscans used items like ivory and bone to replace missing teeth. In some cases, they would even try to replace their own teeth with the teeth of their dead contemporaries.

The ancient Egyptians also longed for more beautiful smiles. They replaced teeth with seashells, which they hammered into the gums. To brighten their teeth, they used a toothpaste made of a mixture of pumice stone and vinegar.

In their quest for whiter teeth, the ancient Romans resorted to using toothpaste that contained their own urine. The ammonia in the urine worked well to break up dental stains.

Medieval Times

Cosmetic dentistry in medieval times was not much of a step up from ancient attempts at beautifying teeth. In fact, barbers often served a dual function. They both cut hair and performed dental services. They might file teeth and apply a solution to them to make them whiter. Around this same time, people once again resorted to using bone, ivory, and other humans’ teeth as dentures.

The Advent of Porcelain

In the 1700s, a sort of dental revolution took place when porcelain began to be used as a means to replace teeth. In the 1800s, porcelain became more and more popular, and dentists began to make molds of teeth to ensure a better fit for dentures.

Modern Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry in New Haven as we know it really took off in the 1980s. During that decade, dentists discovered that carbamide peroxide could work as an effective whitening agent. Needless to say, peroxide-based whitening treatments are much gentler and more sanitary than whitening methods of old that involved urine, vinegar, and pumice stone! The 1980s was also when porcelain veneers and dental implants came to the fore as safe and effective ways to transform a person’s smile.

Since then, continuing research has given rise to the remarkable procedures that your cosmetic dentist in New Haven offers today. Veneers, dental implants, professional teeth whitening, Invisalign, and more all offer reliable smile enhancement that carries virtually no risk to a patient’s oral or overall health. We can all be glad that we have moved on from the missteps of our forebearers!

Meet Our Practice

New Haven Dental Group has been serving our community for more than four decades. As dentistry has evolved, so has our approach to it. We pride ourselves on our use of cutting-edge technology, which combines with the skills of our dental team to produce truly outstanding cosmetic dentistry results. If you would like to learn more about us and how we may be able to help you improve the appearance of your teeth, contact any one of our four conveniently located offices

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New Haven Dental Group is a 42 North Dental Care, PLLC practice and is owned and operated by dentists Dr. Samuel Shames, DDM. and Dr. Ronald Weissman, DDM. Gentle Dental is supported by 42 North Dental, LLC, a dental support organization that provides non-clinical administrative and business support services to the practice. 42 North Dental, LLC does not own or operate the dental practice or employ dentists to provide dental services. Find more information about 42 North Dental, LLC and the dental practices it supports at 42northdental.com.

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