Copy of an Etruscan denture, Europe, 1901-1930

1901-1930 in Europe

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Etruscan denture, copy, metal and tooth. White background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Etruscan denture, copy, metal and tooth

Etruscans, people living in Etruria (Umbria and Tuscany, Italy), were the first to make dentures and false teeth, from 700 BCE onwards. Teeth from another person or an animal, such as an ox, were inserted into a band of gold with a metal pin and fitted on to the remaining teeth. The teeth could be easily removed if necessary. Imagine eating with another person’s teeth! Only wealthy people could afford this treatment. There were no specialist dentists so den-tistry was one of the duties of a physician.

Related people


Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
metal, tooth
dental bridge
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • dental equipment
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment

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