On June 9, 1822, Charles Graham received the first patent for false teeth. His were not the first false teeth in use, however. In the Colonial years, rotten teeth were considered the root of many illnesses. The primary treatment for decay was extraction and different ways of replacing them were devised. George Washington had at least four sets of false teeth, none of which, contrary to popular myth, were wooden. His first dentures consisted of human teeth inserted into carved ivory. Another set, made by dentist John Greenwood of New York in 1789, were made of gold, hippo teeth, and hippo and elephant ivory. A hole was left for Washington's remaining tooth, a molar.
Copyright Aetna InteliHealth, Inc., 2011. All rights reserved.