Tag Archives: dental implants faq

History of Dentures

We often think of dentures or false teeth, as an innovation introduced into our society in the 1800s to replace teeth lost from poor nutrition, lack of vitamins or poor health.  If you thought that, you’d be way off!

Ceremonial dentures were worn over teeth to change the individual’s appearance in much the same way as an actor has props, as long as 4,500 years ago!

Etruscans from northern Italy constructed dentures from human bone scavenged from battlefields or animal teeth around 700BC!  This type of denture was not uncommon until the 1800s. At this time the dentures were cosmetic but not functional.  Generally they were removed before eating because they were not secure enough to chew with.

However, functional wooden dentures, made from the evergreen shrub Buxus microphylia, were found to be made in Japan as early as 1538. The shape of these mimic the ones still used today, covering each type of tooth loss and kept in place by suction.

As time passed, it is the goldsmiths or barber-surgeons that labeled themselves “operators for the Teeth”.  The first one came from London, named Peter de la Rouche.

Alexis Duchateau made the first porcelain dentures around 1770 although it was his former assistant, Nicholas Dubois De Chemnant who applied for and received the British patent in 1791.  Here, the dentures also sported springs for fastening the dentures into place.  At that time, Wedgwood had been successfully using hard paste for porcelain to mimic the whiteness in tea ware, which Nicholas Dubois incorporated into his denture design, making them appear more like natural teeth.

A goldsmith named Claudius Ash began making high-quality porcelain dentures mounted on gold plates in London in 1820. This transitioned into vulcanite in the 1850s on hardened rubber where porcelain teeth were set.

By the 20th century, acrylic resin and other plastics replaced these materials.

We certainly have come a long way.  Modern dentures are often made (usually in dental laboratories) with a mixture of different types of acrylic that reflect the true color of the gums as well as the natural color and appearance of teeth. The versatile acrylic teeth are accessible in hundreds of shapes and colors.

The procedure making the denture starts with an impression that is made of the upper and lower jaw which assists in making sure that the dentures have the most accurate customized fit.

You can rely on the skill of all those innovators who have come and gone.  Now no one knows you’re wearing the denture other than you and your dentist. You can rest easy.

Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions

The decision to have dental implants inserted is such a personal one and it can be difficult.  So, when the decision is finally made, an individual usually wants to make an appointment and have it done-immediately- as in right NOW!

However, before running to have the implants inserted, there is some research to be done and there are questions to ask of your dental specialist.

Q. What type of anesthesia will be used?

Anesthesia typically involves intravenous sedation.  Because of this, the patient should avoid driving and operating heavy machinery for 24-36 hours.

Q. Who will place my implants?

The implants are placed by a specialist, specifically trained and certified in implants.  Training consists of 3 years of dental school and after showing proficiency in this and passing examinations, the dentist goes on to 2-3 years of specialty training with implants.

Q. What are the dentist’s qualifications and experience?

 See how many implants the dentist has placed prior to you and that he/she is certified by a specific licensing agency.

Q. How many visits will be necessary for the implants?

The number of visits will be dependent on whether the implant is porcelain or resin and whether it is fabricated by an outside dental laboratory or done in the office.  These variables must be discussed with the dental office so that there is no doubt or confusion as to how the process will take place.

Q. Am I a candidate for the procedure?

Not everyone is a candidate for implants.  Discuss this thoroughly with the reconstruction dentist including all medications that you are on, and you’re past history.

Q. Will all my treatments be done in one office location?

There are offices were there is an on-site laboratory for fabrication of the implants.  This is something that varies between offices and is a good question to have answered.

Q. Will there be special diagnostic or radiographic tests prior to dental implantation?

Many offices use CAT Scans and get a three-dimensional image including the location of the blood vessels, nerves and sinuses to optimize placement of the implants.

Q. What happens if an implant fails?

Should an implant fail, another one can be inserted in its place.  Should it be due to infection or gingivitis, the inflammation and infection needs to be treated first.

Q. How long do implants last?

This is dependent on how fastidious the individual is with oral hygiene, daily brushing, and elimination of smoking and diminished consumption of high sugar content food. They can last more than 15 years.

Q. Is there special care or follow-up for these implants?

After implants have been deemed successful, routine visits may be done in the regular family dental office.