Page 10 - Amazing Smiles
P. 10

CHAPTER 0NE                                             photo 1

Cosmetic Dentistry from the Beginning

T hroughout human history, the
                        importance of caring for teeth
                        and enhancement of the indi-
                        vidual smile has been impor-
                        tant. As early as 3000-2500
                        B.C., the procedures for
                        saving teeth was evidenced by
                        skulls found containing teeth
                        connected together with gold
wires. The smile was so important that wealthy
Egyptians even depicted their smiles on golden
mummy masks found in ancient tombs. (See
photo 1). Primitive fixed dental bridges made
from gold bands and human teeth have been
found on Etruscan skulls in what is now Tuscany,
Italy, as early as 500 B.C.

      Polished semi-precious stones and sea shells
have been found implanted into the jaw bones of
early Pre-Columbian Indians throughout the
Americas. Gold appliances found on a skull may
have been used to strengthen loose teeth or
improve the cosmetic appearance of these
ancient people. Cosmetic enhancement of Mayan
teeth was performed by placing semi-precious
stones in the middle of the upper and lower teeth.
(See photo 2)

      The Persian Middle Ages were also a time of
advances in cosmetic dentistry. Teeth made of
ivory have been found implanted in skulls wealthier
classes. The first known set of removable false
teeth was fabricated during the sixteenth century.

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