Secrets Of A Charming Smile From Aztecs
It is indisputable that throughout the history of civilization the esthetics of a dazzling smile coupled with restoring the natural function to chew food has driven people to replace missing teeth. The Aztec culture placed heavy importance on their looks – especially their teeth – and explored primitive cosmetic dentistry and dental implants. When reporting to the King of Spain, Hernando Cortes who was a Spanish conquistador, shared how oral health held significant importance in the Aztec culture and how they had remedies for bad breath.
There is scientific evidence of dental implants being used for at least cosmetic purposes. Researchers found a skull which had a cut out sea shell implanted into the jaw. It was likely forged into the bone to rehabilitate a full smile. According to researchers, this was done when the woman was still alive, as there are signs of curing on the dental implants. While this is not common, it is essential to point out that sea shells did have some level of biocompatibility with the bone because of their high calcium ingredient and structure. It surely is not ideal and we can only imagine how excruciatingly painful the procedure had been without pain medication.
Dental carvings are much more common on archaeological record than the sea shell implants (we assume pain has plenty to do with that). In any case, both Aztecs and Mayans carved their teeth with lines and even filed the edges of their teeth giving them different shapes. Even some paintings and statues of Aztec gods have these types of carvings on their teeth, so it’s not shocking Aztecs wanted to imitate them.
While Mayans and Aztecs lacked advanced equipment, they found ways to deliberately drill a hole on the front teeth and insert little pieces of jade into them. Though still unknown how they used some sort of adhesive to make them bind to the teeth. The implants were mostly found on members of the upper classes as a signal of power and influence.
Currently, people still like to place luxury jewelry and diamonds on their teeth and even to decorate their crowns. But aside from that, dental implants are now viewed as the most advanced solution for missing teeth with an above average of 97% long-term success rate. Dental Implants are the only dependable solution that restores patient’s natural ability to chew and smile. It also stimulates the natural bone formation and supports surrounding teeth.