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08 September 2015

A Brief And Sometimes Tongue In Cheek Look at the History of Cosmetic Dentistry Manchester

At our Manchester dental practice treatments such as porcelain veneers, cosmetic bonding, white fillings, gum contouring, teeth resizing and laser teeth whitening Manchester are all common place procedures. Despite the rise in recent years of cosmetic dentistry Manchester you may be surprised to learn that cosmetic dentistry in one form or another been going on for thousands of years. Let’s take a closer look.

Roll up roll up, – get your teeth here!

It’s thought that around 700BC the ancient Etruscans were the first people to perfect the art of dentures. In the beginning they used shell and animal bone, but as any early dental entrepreneur would, they proceeded to extract teeth from the dead and sell them to the highest bidder. Surprisingly, even though they smelt pretty bad and deteriorated quickly this process continued right into the 18th century.

How about some bling?

By 200AD the Etruscans had decided that taking teeth from dead people was hard and dirty work. As a result they decided to move up in the world and instead started serving the upper echelons of society. As a result gold became the order of the day. As well as restorations, the oligarchs of their time would often have their healthy teeth pulled only to replace them with gold replicas. The more bling in your smile, the more powerful you were – simple!

Egypt around the same time

Although we consider laser teeth whitening in Manchester a relatively modern phenomenon it actually isn’t. Okay so maybe the laser part is, but teeth whitening itself has been practised for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians for example were pretty fed up with faded and stained teeth. It clearly didn’t suit their tanned appearance for one thing so they decided to do something about it. A concoction of pumice stone and vinegar was blended together and rubbed vigorously onto the teeth in order to brighten the smile. If you think that was bad, a few thousand miles away in Rome it got a whole lot worse!

Many citizens started using an early form of toothpaste that contained urine – whose urine it was I’ll leave you to speculate – but although it sounds pretty disgusting it actually made perfect sense. Urine contains ammonia which just happens to be a very effective tooth whitener and surprisingly, variations of it were used right up until the 18th century.

The barber of Seville – Shouldn’t that read dentist?

In days of old, barbers did far more than cut hair. They also performed surgical procedures and cosmetic dentistry. Manchester residents for example, could walk into a barbers in around 1130 AD and have their teeth filled and coated with acid to make them whiter. Alternatively, if they were really causing pain they could also pay someone to have them extracted – ouch! By the 1400’s barbers were no longer allowed to perform dental surgery. Thank goodness for that! They were however allowed to continue with dental cosmetics and hygiene services. Clearly this gave them time on their hands to do other stuff like form barber-shop quartets.

From vulcanite to porcelain

Our Manchester dental practice has a lot to thank for what went on in the latter part of the 19th century as this is when modern-day cosmetic procedures as we know them really took off. Firstly Charles Goodyear (yes he of tyre fame) discovered that as well as making tyres out of vulcanite it could also be used as a base for dentures which made them more comfortable to wear. How he arrived at this theory we’ll never know, but it seemed to work nonetheless. Then in 1903 the porcelain crown was patented by Charles Land. Early crowns were pretty awful but by the time they became fused with metal in the 1950’s they became far more effective. Also in the early 20th century acrylics and plastics came to be used in place of metal and gold as in the form of dentures which is still used to this day.

The rise of cosmetic dentistry Manchester

Even in the 1980’s the term cosmetic dentist was virtually unheard of outside of Hollywood, but by the 1990’s dentists began focusing more on delivering pain free dental procedures. The fact that there was also a growing demand for cosmetic services by people wanting a natural looking smile, meant that it gave rise to the cosmetic dentist as we know it today.

Thankfully technology has moved on from days of old so if you want to find out more about how our Manchester dental practice can help you improve your smile, why not contact us for a free no-obligation consultation. You can talk to our experienced team about laser teeth whitening Manchester or indeed any other form of cosmetic dentistry. Manchester clinic Church Road Dental and Cosmetics is here to serve you so don’t delay, visit our website at www.cheadlehulmedental.com or phone us directly on 01614 860 743 today and let us unleash your beautiful smile.

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