Facts about Dentures & Statistics

Most people don’t know much about dentures, and probably aren’t curious enough to learn. But if you are facing the loss of your teeth, maybe it’s time you knew more.

What Are Dentures?

  • Dentures can be full dentures—plastic bases with artificial teeth in them that replace all a person’s teeth—partial dentures—plastic or metal removable appliance replacing one or a few teeth—and even dental bridges—technically known as fixed partial dentures

  • Dentures can be supported by dental implants

  • The bases of most removable dentures today are made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)

  • Denture teeth can be made of PMMA or ceramic material similar to that used for porcelain veneers

  • PMMA has been the preferred denture material since before WWII

What Dentures Can Do

  • Dentures are used to replace missing teeth

  • Economy dentures are designed to do the job cheaply with a minimum in customization

  • More expensive dentures offer improved fit, function, and appearance

  • Some dentures are designed to improve a person’s bite, eliminating headaches, jaw pain, and other TMJ symptoms

Dentures Statistics

  • More than 35 million Americans are edentulous—meaning they don’t have any teeth

  • 90% of the edentulous population has dentures

  • 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth

  • 13% of current smokers are edentulous, compared to just 5% of people who never smoked

Dentures History

  • The Etruscans made the first dentures in the 7th century BCE, securing human or animal teeth together with gold bands

  • By the 16th century CE, wooden dentures were commonly used in Japan

  • In the 18th century, Europeans were making dentures of wood, bone, and ivory with carved teeth or human teeth

  • Dentures with human teeth were marketed as “Waterloo teeth” because young soldiers killed in battle were considered the best donors for dentures, though many poor people sold their teeth

  • George Washington’s dentures were never made of wood. He had several sets that were made of bone and ivory, with both carved and human teeth

  • When Vulcanite dentures were invented in the 19th century, they were so profitable that one dentist committed murder to preserve his right to keep making them

  • In WWI, the US Army developed a special denture for use by troops because many recruits couldn’t meet the minimum standard of 12 teeth required to serve

  • In WWII, Winston Churchill had his denture specially crafted to preserve his characteristic lisp

Have more questions about dentures? We can answer them. Please contact Ascent Dental in the Cherry Creek area of Denver today to schedule an appointment.

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