Why Aren’t There Any Pictures of George Washington Smiling?
You probably wouldn’t be smiling much if you had false teeth like George Washington did back in 1789. The false teeth available then cannot compare with the tooth replacement options available today. Many people think that George Washington had false teeth made out of wood. Although, it is true that our first president did have false teeth, they were never made from wood. George Washington sought out the latest in dental technology in his time the same way that you and I would today. According to MountVernon.org, when George Washington became president, he only had one real tooth remaining in his mouth. Dr. John Greenwood, a New York dentist, made Washington “a technologically advanced set of dentures carved out of hippopotamus ivory and employing gold wire springs and brass screws holding human teeth.” President Washington’s dentures were painful, stained easily, required extensive cleaning, and resulted in facial disfigurement. That doesn’t sound that great, does it? Still, it was the best option that was available at the time.
Fortunately, dental technology has continued to improve over the past 220 years, and we have much better options today than President Washington did. For someone missing all of their teeth, there are now implant-supported dentures that are made out of ceramic zirconia, so there is no metal, no human teeth, and no animal teeth in your mouth. Zirconia dentures can be fixed or removable and require very little maintenance and no messy adhesives. More importantly, they are comfortable and provide the same function and esthetic appearance as your natural teeth (and they won’t get cavities!).
Whether you are missing one tooth or you currently have traditional dentures, you have much better replacement options than traditional bridges or removable partials/dentures. George Washington could only have wished for the ability to have permanent replacements for his missing teeth, let alone those replacements looking just like natural teeth, being 100% biocompatible, offering total comfort and functionality, and having the same cleaning requirements as regular teeth.
Talk to an implant specialist today to find out how ceramic zirconia implants or implant-supported dentures can give you a whole new reason to smile!
Dr. Al Manesh, Periodontist & Implant Specialist
Mission Dental Implant Center
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