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Advantages Of Porcelain Laminates

• Porcelain Veneers can be individually tailor-made to suit you so that it is virtually impossible to distinguish between well made veneers and your natural teeth.


COMPLETE DENTURES If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You’ll be able to eat and speak—things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.



By Edward Feinberg, DMD

Premodern Treatment and Pain Control

History of Dentistry
Although the practice of Dentistry is rooted in ancient times, dental care was pretty grim prior to modern times. There were no diagnostic procedures, no preventative procedures, and crude restorative and surgical techniques. The available treatments were likely to be administered by charlatans. They were usually ineffective and death from dental infections was not uncommon. Without effective pain control techniques, dentistry was hideously painful. Pain control consisted of brute force, alcohol (usually brandy, rum or whiskey) or opium. There was no way to control these remedies, so patients were either under- medicated or over-medicated. Operations had to be conducted in a matter of minutes, and if an operation lasted more than 20 minutes, the patient would likely die of exhaustion or shock 2. Needless to say, Dentistry did not enjoy a good reputation.

Only 3 dental schools existed in the United States at the end of the civil war, and many dental practitioners(barbers, blacksmiths and apothecaries) were apprentice-trained itinerants. Some people sought dental care from their physicians "whose skills included simple extractions, lancing and bloodletting". Others tried "self care" from periodicals like "The Family Physician and Guide to Health" (published in upstate NY in 1833). In the first half of the 19th century, transportation to established dental offices was often impossible or risky, and the exchange of information among dental practitioners was difficult. In 1841, for example, 23 out of 100 boats leaving St. Louis sank before reaching their destinations.

The dental profession owes a profound debt of gratitude to a remarkable Frenchman named Pierre Fauchard (1678-1761). Known as the father of modern dentistry, he collected all that was known in the West about Dentistry, organized it and presented it in an epic work titled “Le Chirurgiendentiste; ou, traite des dents (The Surgeon-Dentist; or, Treatise on the Teeth). In this book, which was published in 1723, he described dental decay, tooth anatomy, oral diseases and dental deformities. He was the first to practice dentistry in a scientific manner and the first to provide practice management techniques for the enhancement of patient comfort. His book outlined highly sophisticated procedures for tooth extraction, disease prevention and dental restorations. He was one of the first practitioners to advocate scaling of the teeth and debridement of the root surfaces to prevent periodontal disease. Many of his ideas are still accepted, and they certainly were way ahead of their time. Pierre Fauchard was a true professional—he challenged the notion that practitioners should jealously guard their knowledge and skills and he was a strong proponent of enforcing the edict of 1699, which required dentists and other professionals to submit to examination before being allowed to set up practice. Unfortunately, the edict was never enforced.


Dentures prior to 1850 generally did not fit well, picked up odors and discolored easily. They were made from avariety of different materials including bone, ivory, a variety of metals, tortoise shell, porcelain, pearly, coral, wax,gutta percha, celluloid. The teeth were made from bone, ivory, walrus and hippopotamus tusks, china, earthenware, porcelain and metal. Even human teeth were used-battlefields were rich hunting grounds for denture teeth (hence the term "Waterloo Dentures"2). There was no material that could be custom fit or allow fusion with fresh material to compensate for discrepancies. In the 1850's, vulcanite-a hardened rubber--became the most widely used denture material. Although the first synthetic resin-bakelite-was invented in 1907, it was not until 1934 that Neo-hecolite-thefirst acrylic resin-became available to dentistry. The following year saw the introduction of a powder-liquid acrylic prototype similar to what is used today. Acrylic resin not only revolutionized denture construction, but crown andbridge procedures as well. Acrylic is today's most widely used material for fabricating denture bases, denture teethand temporary crowns and bridgework. Today's denture teeth are made from acrylic, composite or porcelain and come in a plethora of sizes, shapes and colors.

Dental Restorations

An analysis of civil war skulls5 reveals that teeth in that era were filled with gold foil, tin foil, gutta percha, Hill's Stopping (a gutta percha with quartz and feldspar), lead, amalgam and thorium. Gold leaf was used in American dental restorations after it was introduced in 1812 by Marcus Bull. Gold inlays at that time were fabricated using a crude soldering technique. Cast inlays and crown restorations were not available until William Taggert's invention of the casting machine and invested pattern technique in 1907. The porcelain jacket crown was introduced by Charles Land in 1903. Porcelain fused to metal restorations did not become available for Dentistry until the 1960's. Amalgam alloys arrived on the American scene in 1826, once Taveau of Paris demonstrated that it could be used effectively. Early amalgam alloys exhibited either expansion that caused tooth fracture of teeth or contraction resulting in leakage. There was an enormous and bitter controversy in the 1840's and '50's about the toxicity of mercury in amalgam, and standards for amalgam did not appear until 1919. The development of the dental drill in tury made it possible to deliver routine and efficient restorative dental care. At that time Dr. G. V. Black devised his famous system of operative procedures, which are still taught and widely practiced.

Bonding materials were discovered in 1955 by Michael Buonocore at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester. In 1967 he introduced the composite prototype of the materials that are used for bonded restorations today. The composite consists of a plastic resin filled with glass or quartz particles. Since the late '70s, composites have been used for fillings, bonded veneers, porcelain laminates and cementation of restorations. The osseointegrated implant was developed in Sweden in the 1960s by Per-Invar Branemark, but it was not introduced to North America until 1982. Since then dental implants have provided patients with the miracle of a "third set" of teeth. Implant placement is now the most commonly performed surgical procedure.

  1. Foley, Gardner; "History of Dentistry"; Review of Dentistry edited by Maynard Hine; The CV Mosby Company, 1975.
  2. "Experimental Dentures";
  3. Chancellor, Dr. James; "Dr. Well's Impact on Dentistry and Medicine"; JADA, Vol. 125, December, 1994.
  4. Ring, Dr. Malvin; Dentistry: An Illustrated History; C. V. Mosby Co.; 1985.
  5. Glenner, Richard, DDS et al.; "Dental Fillings in Civil War Skulls" JADA; Vol. 127; November, 1996