These are the oldest false teeth

Findings in Etruscan tombs suggest that as early as 700 B.C. C. partial dentures were worn in the present-day territory of Tuscany, Italy.

Some were permanently attached to existing teeth, and others were removable.

The first European sets of dentures date back to the 15th century, although as mentioned above, they existed long before then. The teeth were carved from bone or ivory, or simply prepared from teeth recovered from cemeteries, since apparently there were dead or even living donors.

Throughout history, as more knowledge has been acquired and techniques have been perfected, the materials with which dental prostheses are made have varied. From the primitive replacements with ivory and even natural human and animal teeth, to the most current and innovative materials.

A set of false teeth of US President George Washington (1732-99) is insured for $10 million. It is currently on display at Mount Vernon, Washington’s former home, in Virginia. What was it made of? Hippopotamus ivory, among other materials. Modern historians suggest that George Washington lost his teeth at a very young age due to mercuric oxide he took to treat diseases such as smallpox and malaria.

The most expensive false teeth sold at auction were the wartime dentures worn by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which sold for $23,703.

That figure is triple the estimated price, and the bidder took it on July 29, 2010.

The most expensive single tooth sold at auction, however, was the one belonging to John Lennon, the former Beatle. On November 5, 2011, Canadian dentist Michael Zuk purchased this molar for $36,857. Apparently, the tooth had been given by Lennon to his maid.

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