Dentistry has certainly changed over the years, but thanks to modern techniques and your Dentist in La Jolla, Dr. David Kitchen, you do not have to resort to the drastic measures that our ancestors did when it came to cosmetic dentistry and tooth whitening.
Tooth whitening has been around for thousands of years with the ancient Egyptians whitening their teeth around 4,000 years ago. White teeth symbolized beauty, wealth, and power and was achieved using a wine vinegar paste that was applied to the teeth.
Although it sounds disgusting, the ancient Romans used urine to bleach their teeth as the primary agent in urine is ammonia. Barbers got into the act around 1600 when they added dentistry to their list of duties. These early hair cutters would file down clients teeth before applying an acid that would whiten teeth. This seemed to work quite well, but led to enamel erosion eventually causing tooth decay.
Cosmetic Dentistry has been around just as long as tooth bleaching with the Etruscans fashioning dentures out of bone and ivory around 700 B.C. It was also common practice to make dentures from animal or human teeth. This practice actually lasted until the 1800’s even though the resulting dentures, that were extracted from the dead or sold by the living, smelled horrible and rotted quite quickly. Around six or 7 BC, the Etruscans would also use gold bands to hold replacement teeth.
In 200 AD, gold was used by the Etruscans to make dental bridges and dental crowns. According to archaeologists, this practice was most probably for restorative purposes as opposed to cosmetic issues. The ancient Egyptians would hammer seashells into their gums to replace missing teeth and could be classified as a somewhat archaic form of dental implants.
Cosmetic Dentistry was probably first used by the ancient Mayans who would drill holes into the front of their teeth to display semi precious stones such as turquoise, Lapis lazuli, malachite, fluorite and even some types of coral.
Porcelain teeth hit the scene in the 1800’s with the invention of a rubber material, known as Vulcanite. The rubber material was created in 1840 as a base for people who needed false teeth. This made denture wearing easier and more comfortable.
These early cosmetic dental procedures paved the way for dentists like Dr. David Kitchen in La Jolla. If you would like a no obligation consultation, schedule an appointment with your Dentist in San Diego today.