A complete, upper denture, made to replace missing teeth in the maxillary (upper) arch. The dental plate is made from vulcanite and the teeth from porcelain. Vulcanite was first invented in 1839 and is a sulphur-hardened rubber. It became available just after the introduction of anaesthesia, which had created an unprecedented demand for the extraction and replacement of bad teeth. Cheaper than ivory and gold, vulcanite was quickly adopted around the world for use in the manufacture of dentures until it was superseded by acrylic resin in the 1930s. A soft rubber compound, the vulcanite was first moulded around a model of the patient's oral cavity, porcelain teeth would then be added before the whole piece was embedded in plaster and cured in a denture press. The finished vulcanite was dark red in colour, hard, durable and light, held in place through natural suction. Only the area of gum that was visible in use was typically coloured a more natural, lighter pink.
AIBDC : 008395