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Copy of portion of George Washington's false teeth, 1799-1930

This is a copy of a portion of the lower denture made for George Washington (1732-1799). George Washington was first president of the United States of America following the Constitution of 1789. He experienced a large number of dental complaints and lost all his teeth by 1796. John Greenwood (1760-1815) designed and made four sets of dentures for Washington during the ten years Greenwood was his dentist. The dentures were made from gold, elephant ivory, hippopotamus ivory and human teeth. It is a myth Washington wore wooden dentures. This example is made from ivory. It is inscribed with the initials ‘IG’. This may refer to Greenwood’s brother or father. They shared the name Isaac and were both dentists.

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    Glossary: dentistry

    The study, treatment and management of diseases affecting the mouth, jaws, gums, teeth and their supporting tissues.

    Glossary: denture

    A replacement tooth, or set of teeth that are usually removable.

    Glossary: replica

    Use for precise reproductions of valued objects, usually in the same dimensions as the original. For reproductions of an image alone, use "reproductions" or "facsimiles." Use also when more than one similar object is produced by the same artist, craftsman, or studio, with little or no variation between them; if variation is apparent, use "versions." Distinct from "forgeries" and "counterfeits," which are produced with the intent to deceive.