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5 Facts About Dentistry You Should Know

Open mouth smile outdoor | Rod Gleave DMD | Salt Lake City, UT

 

Dentistry is not the dry, boring topic you might have thought it was. Here are five fun facts that you probably didn’t know before reading this article.

  1. What Makes Implants Great Was Found by Accident – The wonders of dental implants are lauded by almost every dentist on the planet. They are the superior tooth replacement option for our day and age, but did you know that one of the reasons they are so great was actually found by accident? If you read our last blog post, you already know this is true. In the early 1950s, an orthopedic surgeon was studying blood flow in the bones of rabbits. To do this, he placed titanium cylinders into the bones. When the surgeon went to remove the cylinders, he found that they had bonded with the bone. This trait (osseointegration) is unique to titanium. The focus of the surgeon’s research had nothing to do with dental implants or finding a way to make them more effective, but he unknowingly stumbled upon what is arguably the greatest discovery of modern dentistry.
  2. The First Dental Veneers Were Made in Hollywood – In 1928, a movie production crew was having a problem: one of their actors had teeth that did not look very good. The producers looked for a solution and found one from a California dentist named Charles Pincus. This first set of dental veneers were able to modify the appearance of the actor’s teeth and make them work for the movie shoot. They did not last very long, and even after some improvements made to them in 1937, they still were little more than a temporary fix. Dr. Michael Buonocore introduce the idea of etching the surface of the teeth to allow for a better bond between the dental veneer and the tooth. This led to many more advancements in the bonding technique of porcelain veneers. Today’s dental veneers can last anywhere from 10-30 years, as opposed to the few days that the original dental veneers were able to last.
  3. George Washington’s Teeth Weren’t Made of Wood –  As children, we were all told that George Washington, one of our nation’s founding fathers and hero of the Revolution, had wooden teeth. What if we told you that was a lie? In fact, it is. George Washington did not have wooden teeth at all. Instead, his dental restoration was made out of a combination of gold, ivory, and lead. The replacement teeth that were attached were a grab bag of human, donkey, and hippo teeth. There was not any wood to be found at all in his false teeth. What’s even more interesting is that he had four pairs of these custom dentures. Four golden pairs of teeth for our nation’s founding father seems a lot better than a simple pair of wooden dentures, don’t you think?
  4. Dental Floss Has Been Used in a Prison Break – You probably don’t think about dental floss as being all that sturdy. In fact, you probably don’t think you could use it for anything other than cleaning your teeth. But guess what? In 1994, not really that long ago, a prisoner in West Virginia used braided dental floss to escape. He made it into a rope, used it to scale a wall, and got out of prison. There is no telling how much dental floss he had to use, but based on how thin it is, he had to have saved up quite a bit to be able to use it to escape a secure installation.
  5. Women Smile Way More Often Than Men – This probably isn’t news to many women, or men, for that matter. What is news is how much more women smile than men. On average, women smile roughly 60 times per day. That statistic looks even bigger when compared to the only eight times per day that men smile. That is a disparity, and one that does not have an easy explanation. Perhaps women are just happier than men are?

Dentistry can be fun and interesting, but on a serious note, a regular dental regimen is vital to the health of your smile. If you are looking for help getting a better version of your current smile, call Rod Gleave, DMD today. You can reach our Salt Lake City dental office at 801-747-8531 to schedule your appointment.