The 20th Century’s Dental Advancements

dental implant photo
Photo by EE Homepage

It’s hard to believe that, only around 100 years ago, people cleaned their teeth with rags and twigs!

The twentieth century was a big one for dental hygiene. Since the early 1900s, the entire field saw progress from fundamentals like widely-available toothbrushes, to technologically-advanced developments like 3D printed custom dental implants! Hard to believe it’s only been a hundred years, right?

With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite advancements in the field of dental health!


Veneers are great. At Dr. Matthews’ office, one of the big procedures we do is cosmetic veneers. At their most basic, veneers are a strong replacement covering for teeth that are chipped, cracked, or damaged. Porcelain, one of the most common materials for veneers, is tried and true. Durable and hard to stain, porcelain holds up great!

To attach a veneer, we score the underlying tooth and adhere our carefully-crafted custom replacement to its surface. Though our work is guaranteed for quite awhile, we recommend regular check-ups to monitor the veneer’s condition. Veneers are durable and will last quite a while with proper care, but eventually they will need to be replaced. If you’d like to know more about veneers, take a look at this Colgate guide to veneer care.

Dental implants

One of the oldest dental technologies around, dental implants have been found as far back as ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. They’ve been made from everything from wood, to ivory, to other people’s teeth! Luckily, we’ve come a long way since then.

The 20th century saw dozens of amazing developments in implant technology. Though the concept remains the same–replacing lost or damaged teeth–much of the technology is radically different! Today, dental implants are artificial inserts that fuse to your jaw structure to allow replacement teeth strong footing. The teeth, usually made from either resin or a combination of metal and porcelain, are custom-fitted to your mouth. This gives you a natural, unobtrusive replacement tooth. At Dr. Matthews’ office, we use cutting edge imaging and production technology to give you the best implants possible.

White Fillings

For most of the twentieth century, fillings were an alloy of silver-hued metals. While they worked great, these amalgam-fillings looked less like teeth and more like a piece of tinfoil. With advancements in material science, dentists can now offer a resin-based filling that looks and acts just like a regular tooth! Best of all, the fillings work just as well–if not better–than the amalgam fillings.

The same material can also be used in procedures like our dental inlays and dental onlays. When too much of the tooth has been damaged for conventional fillings, we use advanced resin polymer to fill the space. This lets the tooth flex and settle without dislodging the repairs!

Whether it’s white fillings, porcelain veneers, or any other cosmetic dentistry advancement, we have you covered. Take a look at what Dr. Matthews has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!


Dan Matthews DDS
Dan Matthews Dan Matthews DDS The Park at Eanes Creek,
4407 Bee Cave Road
Building 2, Suite 221
Austin, Texas, 78746
(512) 452-2273
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