Over the last few centuries, cosmetic dentistry has been improving dramatically in order to effectively restore and improve your smile. Progress is often a group effort, with one person or group taking an old discovery and using it for new purposes. Porcelain veneers, for example, only came into use in the last 3 decades when a dentist had the idea to utilize techniques developed in the 1700s. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, or feel that your teeth are not shaped right for your mouth, you can thank a 1700s French dentist and Hollywood for porcelain veneers.
The Development of Porcelain in Dentistry
The use of porcelain in dentistry is a relatively recent occurrence on the dental history timeline. Dental restorations such as crowns used to be made of materials like gold, and lost teeth were sometimes replaced with human teeth from donors instead of the porcelain implants used today. Dentures were also much different, composed of a combination of human teeth, animal teeth, and ivory. These materials were not reliable, were uncomfortable, and did not last long before failing.
In the 1700s, a French dentist named Alexis Duchateau discovered a way to prevent porcelain from shrinking during the firing process. His new method made porcelain a more practical material for use in dentistry, leading to the development of the first porcelain dentures. This discovery laid the groundwork for the porcelain restorations used today.
Hollywood Upgrades its Smiles
California dentist Dr. Charles L. Pincus used porcelain to revolutionize cosmetic dentistry in the 1930s. During this time period, Hollywood was stepping out of silent films and releasing fully scripted ones. Along with this shift came the realization that speaking exposed rotting or broken teeth of actors and actresses, which distracted audience members from the film itself.
Dr. Pincus solved the problem by molding porcelain into the shape of a tooth and attaching it using a denture adhesive. These thin pieces of porcelain gave moviestars the appearance of a perfect smile. His invention was only a temporary fix and needed to be redone for each movie shoot.
Veneers Make Their Way Into Dentistry
Nearly 50 years later, Dr. Pincus’s groundbreaking invention found its way into cosmetic dentistry. Researchers discovered a technique to permanently affix porcelain veneers to teeth. The demand for porcelain veneers exploded. Ever since then, technologies have continued to improve the shape, color, and strength of porcelain veneers to improve their effectiveness.
Give Your Smile the Upgrade You Deserve
Your smile is a big part of the first impression you make on everyone you meet. If your teeth look bad, others may think you are not cleanly, and often make unconscious assumptions about your personality based on stereotypes. You can fix chipped, discolored, and gapped teeth easily using porcelain veneers. Today’s veneers are durable, and look just like your natural teeth. They will be carefully color-matched with the rest of your teeth so that they are virtually invisible. The shape of your veneers will also be carefully crafted in order to achieve the best fit and aesthetic look for you.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of porcelain veneers for your smile, please call (407) 834-6446 to set up an appointment with Orlando cosmetic dentist, Dr. Michael L. Weinstock today.