George Washington’s Dentures, 1790-1799

George Washington's Dentures

Housed at the Mount Vernon Estate, this early pair of Washington’s dentures were by New York City dentist John Greenwood.  The teeth are made from a combination of human teeth, cow teeth, and elephant ivory.  The base is made out of lead and there are steel springs to help open and close them.  Everything is held together with brass wire.

When these were made, Washington had one tooth remaining, so Greenwood left a space in the dentures in order to avoid removing it.  As a thank you “[w]hen Washington finally lost this tooth as well, he gave it to Greenwood who saved this cherished item in a special case.”

Source: [Mount Vernon eMuseum] and [Mount]

Image | This entry was posted in Modern History, Museum Artefact, U.S. History and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to George Washington’s Dentures, 1790-1799

  1. Gypsy Bev says:

    And all this time I heard he had wooden teeth. These sound much nicer with cow teeth and elephant ivory thrown in. Thanks for the clarification.

    • They do sound nicer than the myth that he had wooden dentures! 🙂 Although, I’m not too sure I would like my dentures made out of lead, either. Thank goodness for modern times!

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