Mini Review

Aesthetic Dentistry in the 18th Century: When Beauty Counted More than Health

Author: Patrick Eppenberger

Teeth have always been considered a factor of beauty and are, to this day, perceived as an indicator of age, health and even social status. During the 18th century oral beauty was particularly threatened by the spread of caries due to increasing consumption of sugar, heavy metal poisoning induced by the use of cosmetics, or by syphilis therapy with mercury, still common at the time. Consequently, over the course of the century, the demand for aesthetic improvement grew among the social elite before spreading to all strata of the population. Emerging modern dentistry tried to meet these requirements by inventing various new treatment methods. However, with missing means for long-term aesthetic and functional rehabilitation, efforts primarily focused on improving cosmetic aspects