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How Has Cosmetic Dentistry Evolved Over the Years?

April 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsmiley @ 8:15 pm

While people have used many methods to achieve prettier smiles throughout history, medically sound cosmetic dental treatments are a relatively new phenomenon. In previous millennia, people often tried to make their smiles whiter or into more pleasing shapes in ways that were simply gross or that led to long-term dental damage. Here’s a brief overview of how people tried to make their smiles more beautiful in previous eras so that you can appreciate how sanitary, painless, and effective modern cosmetic dentistry really is.

Primitive Attempts at Prettier Smiles

One of the oldest body-image issues that the human race has ever dealt with is tooth loss. The ancient Etruscans and others attempted to replace missing teeth with materials such as ivory, bone, seashells, and even human or animal teeth, and how successful these primitive dental implants could be varied wildly. The ancient Egyptians also experimented with gold dental crowns and bridges, and they also used a toothpaste made from vinegar and pumice stone.

However, the most disgusting ancient cosmetic dental treatment belonged to the Romans who used their own urine to remove dental stains and whiten their teeth. While this was effective thanks to the ammonia urine contains, it didn’t do much to help the patient maintain fresh breath.

Medieval Teeth Whitening

Medieval barbers tended to more than just people’s hair. They also served their dental and surgical needs. One popular cosmetic treatment these barbers provided involved using a metal file to rough up a patient’s teeth before treating them with concentrated acid. While this did whiten their teeth, it did so by removing the stained enamel on top to reveal the fresh enamel underneath, which eroded the teeth’s protective barrier and increased the patient’s chances of dental injuries and tooth decay. Thankfully, modern barbers stick to cutting hair and leave dental care to the dentists.

Modern Cosmetic Dentistry

Today, dentists across America offer safe, comfortable, and effective cosmetic dental treatments that deliver knockout results. Many patients have completely transformed their smiles or addressed minor flaws with dental bonding. For those who are seeking a whiter smile, today’s dentists offer customized teeth whitening kits that are superior to similar store-bought products while containing absolutely no human urine.

Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way since the days of the pharaohs. Consulting with your dentist can help you decide which cosmetic dental treatments may be appropriate for you.

About the Author

Dr. Jonathan Smiley earned his dental degree at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine and continues his education through advanced training from the Dawson Dental Academy. He is proud to be a member of the American Dental Association, the Iowa Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry. His office in Waverly, IA offers general, restorative, emergency, and cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening, veneers, and dental bonding. To book a cosmetic dental consultation, contact his office online or dial (319) 352-2270.

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