Tuesday, September 15, 2015

WE BOUGHT DENTURES FROM THE DEAD! Dark secrets your dentist won't tell you. By Dr. Christina Terrado

The story of dentures and dental implants is not for the delicate..

Here's the unsavory origins those awful contraptions called dentures, the miracle of dental implants, and mini implants.

Ever wonder who invented dentures? The pre-Roman Etruscans of Northern Italy made dentures out of human or animal teeth. George Washington, one of the more famous denture wearers wore one made of hippopotamus ivory implanted in a wooden prosthesis. These first dentures were very uncomfortable and disfigured his face.

The popularity of the use of sugar in the 18 and 19th century created a rise in the number of dentists. And the demand for replacement of the public's rotten teeth. Animal teeth tended to discolor some turning yellow or brown, others blue and would rot over time.

Waterloo teeth were teeth snatched from dead soldiers from the  Napoleonic, Crimean and American Civil Wars. Although these dentures were more comfortable than those worn by George Washington, it’s unsavory origins didn’t sit well with the toothless upper class. 

They would eventually rot, turn brown and become rancid. Worse - people would be infected by contagious diseases such as syphilis from these things. Rich people at this time preferred teeth made of silver, gold, mother of  pearl or agate.

The battle of Waterloo in 1815 which resulted in 50,000 dead, created a bonanza for the scavenging ghouls beyond the usual money, rings and other personal items they would rob from the dead and dying left on the battlefield.

Using pliers, they were able to extract innumerable” hogs heads” (54 gallon brewery barrels) of healthy teeth from the mostly young soldiers which were shipped primarily to dentists in England anxious for a new source of quality teeth for dentures.

Previously they had been relying on more nefarious sources such as the bodies of condemned criminals, deceased from hospitals, paupers from morgues and even grave robbers. The best teeth being from the poverty stricken who would sell a live tooth for today’s equivalent of $70.

Dentures of better quality Waterloo Teeth became the prized cosmetic dental fashion item for many dandys and fashionistas. This continued into the 1860’s wherein battlefield teeth were again harvested during the American Civil War and shipped to Europe for sale.

Oil, autos, tires, rubber vulcanization, plastics and later acrylics are all linked to the invention of the modern denture.  

Your car tires and your dentures have a common ancestor

Goodyear Tires discovery of vulcanized rubber revolutionized dentures. This product can be molded to fit the mouth and the denture mounted properly.

Today's dentures are known for being uncomfortable, and even flying out of the mouth in public at inopportune times. This problem has been somewhat addressed with the use of modern implants for securing dentures.

1952 marks the origins of dental implants where an orthopedic surgeon discovered osseointegration. With a titanium cylinder inserted into bone to study bone healing, he noted the titanium grew into the bone. This discovery became the basis for the dental implant.

Quality implants by pioneer dental implant brands such as Nobel Biocare who pioneerred the implant, can last 20 years to a lifetime. Dental implants can cost from $4,000 to $6,000 complete with implants, abutment and crown in most Western developed nations versus $2100 to $2600 in developing nations such as Mexico and the Philippines according to a 2015 survey by the Board Certified Mexico Dentist Association’.   

The cost differential being largely due to the lower cost of living and clinic overhead in the the developing nations. The cost to the dentist for a name brand dental implant is the same everywhere. Same quality, lower cost is the rationale for the popularity of dental tourism today.

Less expensive off-brands are available for a little less but often only last 6-8 years. The additional investment in quality generally outweighs any savings.  Who wants to go back into surgery to have their failed off-brand implant replaced after several years?

Photo: 4 on 1 Prosthesis

In recent years mini implant secured dentures and 4 on 1 prosthesis have become popular money saving alternatives to the expense of having 30 dental implants. Again the cost is substantially less in dental tourism destination countries such as Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand and India.

For Free estimates and referrals from Board Certified Dentists, dental tourism prices on dental implants, dental implant secured dentures, cosmetic dentistry, 4 on 1, mini implants, oral restorations and more - Visit Certified Dentists Internationale'.

Author: Dr. Cristina Terrado

Medical & Dental Patient Adviser

Doctor Terrado welcomes your comments or questions.
Contact: dr.cristina.boardcertified@gmail.com

This article may be shared, copied, and reposted so long as the original author's name, and all links remain intact. Copyright all Rights Reserved by Board Certified Mexico Dentist Association and Certified Dentists Internationale'

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