Do you remember going to school in Hendricks County or elsewhere and hearing the story about George Washington chopping down the cherry tree when he was a boy? What about the story that he had wooden teeth?
As a kid, that story was pretty fascinating to imagine. However, contrary to popular belief, none of Washington’s dentures were made from wood. In fact, dentists during Washington’s lifetime never used wood to make dentures.
While it’s true that Washington did wear several sets of dentures, they were crafted from a variety of materials, including ivory, gold, lead and a mixture of human and animal teeth. Washington’s first pair of partial dentures was made of ivory and wired to his remaining teeth. Later in life, when he had lost most of his teeth, his dentist crafted a set of dentures carved out of hippopotamus ivory that used gold wire springs and brass screws holding human teeth.
Washington complained of numerous problems with his dentures, including discomfort, pain, facial disfigurement and difficulties while eating and speaking. Also, over time, the ivory in Washington’s dentures became stained, causing them to look similar to wood. This staining is probably the reason why the myth that he wore wooden dentures began.
Only one set of Washington’s dentures still survives and are preserved at his Mount Vernon Estate. For more information and to see a photo of Washington’s dentures, click here.
Modern Dentures Can Improve Your Smile
Today, dentures have improved drastically from Washington’s time due to advances in dentistry. They’re more comfortable to wear and give you a more natural-looking smile that you’ll want to show off to your family and friends in Hendricks County.
Depending on your oral health and cosmetic needs, you may require a partial denture, a full denture or an overdenture.
- Partial Denture – These are removable devices that replace a few teeth or groups of teeth in your upper and/or lower jaw. They can be made with either a plastic gum-colored base or a metal framework that supports the teeth being replaced. The fabricated teeth are typically made from acrylic resin (a strong, durable plastic) that can be shaped and sized to imitate real teeth. Partial dentures are held in place with clasps and rests that are adapted around your natural teeth.
- Full Denture – These removable devices are required when you’ve lost all of your teeth in your upper and/or lower jaw. Full dentures are made with an acrylic resin base that looks like your gums, and acrylic resin or porcelain teeth attached to the base. Full dentures are held in place by forming a seal with your gums.
- Overdenture – These implanted devices are used when you’ve lost all of your teeth in either your upper and/or lower jaw, but you have enough bone in your jaw to support implants. Overdentures are made with an acrylic, gum-looking base, and porcelain or acrylic teeth attached to the base. Overdentures are held into place with special attachments that snap into implants that are surgically placed in your jaw bone.
Moden dentures still require some practice when eating and speaking. But they can restore or enhance your appearance while being virtually undetectable.
Contact Danville Family Dentistry in Hendricks County to find out how dentures can improve your life and smile.