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RPDs Today Unfortunately, while innovation in the RPD space has stalled, the need for removable prosthetics continues to grow at a rapid rate.By 2050, life expectancy is projected to increase by eight years, from today’s 68.6 years to 76.2 years.Researchers in Italy have found a 400-year-old dental prosthesis that consists of five teeth from different individuals – set in the wrong order – held together with gold.While that sounds pretty disturbing – after all, who wants someone else’s teeth in their mouth?These materials are changing how patients, clinicians, and dental lab professionals think about RPDs.
Even though early sketches of similar types of dentures have been found dating as far back as the 7th century BC, this is one of the oldest and most complete set of false teeth researchers have ever found.The material properties of dental devices directly dictate how they can be manufactured or processed.In this context, the drawback of metal frames goes beyond their poor experience for patients, as they are also dramatically inefficient to produce, requiring an immense amount of manual labor (and thus time and money)."Micro-CT scan revealed the presence of two small golden pins inserted into each tooth crossing the root and fixing the teeth to the internal gold band."Once inserted into the wearer’s mouth, the device was held in place by two S-shaped tips and string that firmly kept the teeth from constantly falling out.Though the device seems extremely primitive given the dental technology employed today, it’s the only device found from the time period that uses a gold band to keep everything together, something that, before now, researchers only found written evidence of."Although there are descriptions of similar objects in texts from the period, there is no known archaeological evidence," they write."The dentures found in the tomb are the first example of dentures from this historical period, and as such are a valuable addition to the history of dentistry."The team also found that the teeth and gold band had calculus deposits – better known as tartar – on them, suggesting that the person who used them had them for quite a long time.
That is to say, after 290 years since that first metal frame denture, innovation in RPDs seems to have halted.