Although comical, these pictures do highlight how dentistry has changed over the centuries.
A commonly held belief is that George Washington had wooden teeth. False. George Washington did have chronic tooth problems, but being one of the richest Virginians, he had the best teeth available at the time. Pictured is one of his most favorite set, made by Paul Reverie, and on display in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Institute of American History. These have a cast gold base with hand carved hippopotamus ivory teeth. They are spring loaded, the top and bottom dentures were constantly pushing against one another, hence the very stern look in images of him in his latter years. Look at his face on the United States one dollar bill, can you tell that he was clenching his jaw, always pushing against the springs?
Fast forward a couple of hundred years and the Three Stooges show how dental care was and sometimes still is perceived. In reality, with Sedation Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, Preventive Dentistry and Digital High Tech CAD/CAM restorations, there is no “good old days” for dentistry.
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A