Let's all smile brightly to commemorate the birth of dentist John Allen, who was born on this date in 1810. In 1845, Dr. Allen received a patent for a device that when fitted over false teeth filled out the contours of the face, reducing the shrinkage from the missing teeth to give the wearer a more normal appearance. Dr. Allen also used platinum instead of gold in the base plate of dentures, making it possible to use harder and more acid-resistant porcelain for teeth. He then covered dentures with a "continuous gum" that held the teeth and sealed them against the seepage of fluids. In 1845, Dr. Allen was a founder of the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, and in 1853, he was a founder of the New York College of Dentistry. Dr. Allen, who was also a physician, died in 1892.
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