Updated: Mar 30, 2020
There is archaeological evidence that humans have attempted to replace missing teeth with implants for thousands of years.
Remains from ancient China (dating 4000 years ago) have carved bamboo pegs, tapped into the bone, to replace lost teeth, and 2000-year-old remains from ancient Egypt have similarly shaped pegs made of precious metals.
Some Egyptian mummies were found to have transplanted human teeth, and in other instances, teeth made of ivory.
As early as the 7th century BC, Etruscans in northern Italy made partial dentures out of human or other animal teeth fastened together with gold bands.
The Romans had likely borrowed this technique by the 5th century BC.
These dentures were built with a broad base, exploiting the principles of adhesion to stay in place.
The first porcelain dentures were made around 1770.
17th century London's Peter de la Roche is believed to be one of the first 'operators for the teeth', men who advertised themselves as specialists in dental work.
In 1820, Samuel Stockton, a goldsmith by trade, began manufacturing high-quality porcelain dentures mounted on 18-carat gold plates.
Later dentures from the 1850s on were made of Vulcanite, a form of hardened rubber into which porcelain teeth were set.
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