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How did people improve the appearance of their smile before cosmetic dentistry existed? Well, it turns out that it always existed, but not in way we know today. Read about the changes and advances in cosmetic dentistry below.

The Early Days Of Teeth Whitening

  • The Romans tried to lighten their teeth using a toothpaste that contained urine! As gross as this sounds, the ammonia in urine is actually a natural tooth whitening agent.
  • Barbers doubled as dentists in Medieval Europe. They tried to whiten teeth by bathing them in acid, which ate away at the enamel instead.
  • In the early 1900’s, dentists started using hydrogen peroxide to lighten teeth. This didn’t work very well until 1989, when Dr. Haywood and Dr. Heymann used carbamide peroxide instead.
  • In 1996, the FDA approved of using lasers in dentistry. The light and heat from lasers aids the bleaching agents used for in-office whitening procedures.

Dental Veneers And Movie Star Smiles

  • Charles Pincus created the first veneers in the 1930’s. These were a temporary fix for movie stars and could only stay in place using denture adhesives.
  • In 1982, a new technique was devised to make dental veneers permanently bond to the surface of teeth.

The Truth About False Teeth

  • From ancient times to the 1700’s, people often used others teeth to replace their missing ones. However, these quickly rotted in the mouth and smelled bad.
  • Physician Alexis Duchateau created the first porcelain dentures in 1774. These broke easily and looked unnaturally white. His apprentice, Nicholas Dubois De Chemant, improved upon Duchateau’s design and took out a patent for dentures in 1791.
  • In 1937, Alvin Strock becomes the first person to place a screw dental implant.
  • Per-Ingvar Branemark discovers osseointegration, which allows dental implants to fuse with the jaw bone. He takes his finding to market in 1981.