A lot has been written over the years about our nation’s first president. He led his troops across the Delaware. He chopped down the cherry tree… allegedly. And of course what I as a dentist am interested in, his wooden false teeth.
Some researchers recently set out to confirm or deny the actual materials that Washington’s teeth were made of. And they went all high tech to do this by scanning the “wooden” teeth with a laser.
Turns out that the dentures contain gold, ivory, lead, as well as human and animal teeth. The base was carved out of hippopotamus bone. Ew. Actually, animal teeth were used frequently back in the day to make dentures wit horse and donkey teeth being the most common. Maybe that’s where they got the phrase “straight from the horse’s mouth.”
Dentures today aren’t made out of wood, or ivory, or donkey teeth. We typically use acrylic resin to fuse to the teeth and hold them in place as opposed to the springs and bolts that were used to hold Washington’s dentures in place.
According to historians, George Washington began loosing his teeth in his twenties. Eventually he lost them all. Sadly, we still see quite a few patients who have lost all their teeth and require dentures. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from the days of hippo bone and donkey teeth. While dentures will never be as good as natural teeth, with the help of dental implants to help stabilize them, we can do a lot to help people who are missing their teeth.
If you have questions about dentures or any other dental health topics, please feel free to contact pour Nashville dental office at 615-298-2385, or you can visit our office website .