Replacing Teeth Then and Now

Lumineers

Time was, if you lost a tooth, you had a hole in your smile. End of story. But even in antiquity, our ancestors didn’t want it to be that way.

The skeleton of an ancient Mayan woman was found with a bit of shell hammered into her jaw, and an ancient Chinese skeleton was found with a tooth-shaped cutting of bamboo serving as a tooth crown. Clearly, both of these cases point to an interest in cosmetic dentistry that spans the ages.

Of course, compared to these findings, adhesive-bound dentures are the stuff of the Jetsons. An entire new set of moderately serviceable — albeit unwieldy, uncomfortable, and unreliable — teeth? What ancient king or queen wouldn’t jump at that chance, even if it did mean a lifetime of messy adhesive, embarrassing slippage, and frequent visits to the dentist for adjustment?

In an interesting twist of fate, moden dental technologies have blended the old way (call it the “shell and bamboo” method) with the idea of dentures, and come up with what seems to be the a perfect solution — dental implants.

The ancients were on to something. They knew that for a tooth to function properly and be more than merely a cosmetic fix, it had to be anchored into the jawbone. Adhesive-bound dentures, while able to replace large sections of teeth at once, nonetheless lack a certain stability. Dental implants bridge the gap (if you’ll pardon the pun) between old and new dentures, drawing on the strengths of both to create not just a good-looking set of teeth, but permanent dentures that the wearer can rely on to stay put, stay healthy, and function exactly as real teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way, and might even have further still to go. But we live in a fortunate time for humanity — the loss of one tooth, several teeth, or even all of our teeth, is no longer a life sentence of toothlessness. Implants are the future of cosmetic, restorative, and replacement dentistry — and they’re available today. Read this for more: Kirkland family dentist

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