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Photo by Colleen MacPherson
George Washington was fitted with a set of dentures around 1764, an unusual set made of a combination of pine and teak wood. But some other dental patient of that era would have been lucky enough to receive the porcelain set shown here.
On display outside the dean’s office in the College of Dentistry, these false teeth are made of fused porcelain fixed to a gold base. The spring hinges helped keep the dentures in place when the wearer opened his or her mouth, a mechanical precursor to denture adhesive. There was no information available about how the teeth came to be part of the college’s collection of oddities, but we are certain the blue velvet is for display purposes only.