George Washington's False Teeth, Top Half
While George Washington did have dental troubles for much of his life, the story that his false teeth were made of wood is false. George Washington had dentures made of many materials, including human teeth. In the eighteenth century, it was common practice for dentists to purchase teeth from poor people for use in dentures or tooth transplants. In 1784, Washington purchased nine teeth from several “Negroes,” for 122 shillings, which is less than a third of the payment advertised to poor white Americans. They were likely enslaved people living at Mount Vernon. 3D scanned with a NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner in the archaeology laboratory at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Description by Virginia Commonwealth University student Jessica Evans. Digital model provided by the Virtual Curation Laboratory courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.