The Long History of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are wonders of modern dentistry that replace lost or damaged teeth with artificial ones. Typically, there are two types of dental bridges. The traditional dental bridge consists of an artificial tooth that’s fused to two crowns. The crowns are fixed to two teeth and the artificial tooth between them fills the gap where another tooth had been. A more modern alternative to the traditional bridge uses a dental implant to directly anchor an artificial tooth in your jawbone.
At Campbell Dental Centre, we offer dental bridges to everyone in the Spruce Grove community. Although modern bridges take advantage of the latest technological innovations, the idea of the bridge is actually extremely old. Here are just a few interesting facts from the history of the dental bridge:
- Ancient Etruscans experimented with techniques that are similar to modern bridges. Unlike modern techniques, they sometimes used gold to place animal teeth in people’s mouths.
- Pierre Fauchard, the “father of modern dentistry,” published Le chirurgien dentiste in 1728. Until then, dentists were secretive about their techniques, hoping to keep advantages over competitors. With the publication of Fauchard’s book, knowledge of the best techniques to create and place bridges became much more widely known.
- The first recorded post-mortem dental forensic examination happened in America during the Revolutionary War in the United States. Revolutionary hero and dentist Paul Revere identified the body of his friend, Dr. Joseph Warren, after the Battle of Breed’s Hill by finding the dental bridge that Revere himself had put in his friend’s mouth.
- In 1825, Dr. Samuel Stockton first commercially manufactured porcelain teeth, a material still commonly used today.
- In 1864, Charles Goodyear (of tire fame) patented a process for making artificial teeth out of vulcanite, a special, extremely hard form of rubber.
- The American Board of Orthodontics is formed in 1930, attempting to promote a more regulated and safe approach to dentistry in North America.
- In 1982 Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish research professor, presented his years-long work on osseointegration. This work explained how to effectively fuse bone with other substances, such as metal, paving the way for modern dentistry to develop new methods for making bridgework easy and secure.