History of Dentures

Dentures isolated on a white background.

Dentures have been around for thousands of years. It is believed that they were first used around 700 B.C. by the Etruscans in ancient Italy. These were made from either human teeth or animal teeth.

Until the 1,800’s the most commonly used material for making dentures was ivory that came from elephants, walruses, and hippos. In fact, it has been found that the first U.S. President George Washington’s dentures were also made of ivory, although many have mistakenly believed they were made of wood.

In the late 1700’s a man by the name of Alexis Duchâteau crafted the first porcelain dentures, however these were not popular as they were not sturdy and often chipped. People were also not happy with the fact that they were too white and didn’t look real.

In the 1820’s an English silversmith named Claudius Ash developed a set of dentures that were made of porcelain teeth mounted on 18-karat gold plates, with gold springs and swivels. This was a large improvement to the dentures that had been made previously.

In the 1850’s craftsmen began to make dentures from a hardened rubber called vulcanite into which porcelain teeth were inserted. During the twentieth century other materials came in to use such as acrylic resin and plastics.

Jamaica Hospital’s Department of Dentistry provides the community with the latest and innovative technologies in dental care.  Our inter-disciplinary staff is specially trained to provide the highest quality care and is dedicated to making your visit as comfortable as possible.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6982.


All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.