Dentistry is strange. Dentures are even stranger. Today, when people require a set of false teeth or an individual dental implant, they turn to modern dentistry to provide them with a synthetic substitute, usually made from plastic. However, this solution has only been around for a few decades; in the past, those in need turned to more crude alternatives to copy their original choppers.
In desperate times, people have come up with many weird teeth substitutes, including bones taken from animals and even humans. But while do-it-yourself dentistry may be unrefined, uncomfortable, and unsavory, one thing is for sure: mankind has always displayed a high level of creativity when it comes to creating false teeth. Keep reading to discover all the weird dentures that have been used around the world, past and present.
DIY Deer DenturesPhoto: Kamloops Sentinel/Museum of Healthcare / CBC
In the 1960s, Canadian woodsman Francis Wharton took to the wild to make a full set of upper teeth. Finding himself in need of a replacement for his teeth, Wharton killed a deer and took its teeth. He then filed the teeth down to make a semi-human appearance and implanted them using a combination of plastic wood and household cement. It’s rumored that Wharton - known as “the Backwoods Wizard” - even ate the deer with the teeth that he crafted from the animal!Is this strange?
Your Own Teeth - And SupergluePhoto: Omegatron / via Wikimedia Commons
When faced with lost teeth, British woman Angie Barlow used superglue to put her old teeth back in. She is reported to have been so afraid of the dentist that she preferred her homemade fix to a professional one. The process wasn’t too complicated: She just placed superglue on top of the dead tooth and held it in place until it affixed itself. Eventually, she did this enough times that she essentially created a set of dentures out of superglue. However, this isn’t a recommended resource for dentures - Barlow eventually had to go to the dentist, as her superglue solution didn’t hold up and she eventually lost 90 percent of the bone that supported the upper teeth.Is this strange?
George Washington’s Ivory TeethVideo: YouTube
George Washington didn’t have a good go with dental health. In fact, by the time he became the first president of the United States, he only had one functional tooth. While it’s not true that this forefather used wood to replace his teeth, he did have quite a few sets of false teeth. For example, George Washington had a pair of dentures crafted from ivory and metal alloys. He also was known to have sets made from human, cow, and horse teeth.Is this strange?
Hippopotamus Ivory Dentures
In the 18th century, ivory was the material of choice for dentures. Walrus, elephant, and even hippopotamus ivory was used to craft the false teeth. Hippo ivory was particularly prized, as it was denser and more durable. However, it was difficult to clean, and smelled unpleasant over time.Is this strange?