For those who don’t know, dental implants and oral hygiene practices have certainly come a long way since Colonial times. And our founding fathers, whom we once again remember this Presidents’ Day, could’ve definitely benefited from all of today’s technology.
However, like many others during that time, these historical men may have also struggled with maintaining good oral health. We know from history that some had dental issues, such as tooth decay and missing teeth. And perhaps no president had more infamous dental issues than George Washington.
Our 1st US President Could’ve Used Dental Implants
Several historians note that George Washington was somewhat vain. As such, many believe that his dental condition bothered him for most of his adult life. By the time Washington reached his mid-20’s, he had a lot of missing teeth and wanted to do something about it.
So, after a decade or two, Washington received a top of the line (for that time) solution for his missing teeth. His dentist put together a set of false teeth that he wired to the General’s remaining ones. This makeshift invention provided a temporary solution for the problem at the time, but it didn’t slow down Washington’s need for a full set of dentures.
Once he became President George Washington, he was wearing dentures. And during his second term as President, he was down to one real tooth. Regrettably, when he reached age 64, his oral surgeon soon had to extract that last real tooth, which left him edentulous. Imagine what life would have been like for President Washington if he knew about dental implants? Unfortunately, implants were still in the experimental stages and emerging oral surgeons in Europe were exploring options for replacing teeth.
Implantology in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Throughout most of the 1700s, the top dental scientists and practitioners served as oral surgeons of the day. Most European practitioners practiced replantation. They would extract a decayed tooth from the patient and then later replant the same tooth back into his or her mouth. Though many dental surgeons would try disinfecting the teeth, boiling, and even filling them, replantation proved ineffective over time. In the 1780s and ‘90s, dentists tried using animal bone and other disinfected tools to replace missing teeth. However, this was still unsuccessful. As such, people like President Washington didn’t have full access to dental implants during that time. Instead, dentures were the solution of choice.
Other Founding Fathers
This struggle with teeth was not just limited to George Washington. Abraham Lincoln pretty much refused to go to the dentist. John Adams, the US’s 2nd President, lost a lot of teeth when he was young, but did not like wearing dentures. Furthermore, his son, John Quincy Adams- our 6th President, suffered from eroding teeth. His dental erosion was brought on by a side-effect of mercury treatments which served as a remedy for smallpox. Overall, even the most notable men in the US had to deal with dental issues and could’ve benefited from dental implants.
The Benefits of Modern Implantology
Today’s Presidents are fortunate enough to experience innovative and modern dental technology. Oral surgeries and modern procedures make even complicated matters pretty straightforward, and practically pain-free. The oral maxillofacial surgeons of OMSH are able to install dental implants easily, skillfully, and effectively.
In fact, when patients come to an oral maxillofacial surgeon for implants, they experience over a 98% success rate. Dental implants can last a lifetime when you take good care of them and the rest of your natural teeth. And most of all, they will significantly improve your overall quality of life.
Unlike many of our early US Presidents, if you have missing teeth, you can now do something life-changing about it. Connect with OMSH today at 832-509-4505.