The oldest denture in the world has been found in Italy!
A group of scientists have discovered a set of ancient dentures in the city of Lucca, Italy, very close to the city of Pisa. The members of the team from the University of Pisa are very excited to write another chapter in the history of dentistry. While people of all cultures have developed their own ways to deal with the loss of teeth, this is one of the most complete dentures that have survived to this day.
“Although there are descriptions of similar objects in texts from the period, there is no known archaeological evidence. The dentures found in the tomb are the first example of dentures from this historical period, and as such are a valuable addition to the history of dentistry.” said Dr. Simona Minozzi, one of the scientists that were part of the discovery.
Some people would be shocked to learn this denture is about 1500 years old! The craftsmanship is masterfully done taking into account the limitations of the time. The teeth seem to be from other different people (a common practice in the past for the lack of affordable durable materials) and are held together layer of metal, made mostly of gold and silver. The presence of tartar in them indicates these dentures were worn for a long time, so it could be implied they successfully fulfilled their purpose.
The denture was found in the tomb of the Giunigi family, and the scientists are still studying the remains of more than 200 skeletons. We wonder if any other of their family members decided to use similar prosthesis. Sadly, good dentures like these wouldn’t become available until several centuries later and even George Washington had to do with a bulky and bat fitting denture. It is a good thing you don’t have to worry about such things with Snap in Dentures, All-on-4, All-on-6 and many other options we have today.