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Tooth shade guide, England, 1890-1910

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When false teeth or caps are made, dentists try to match the colour of the new tooth to the rest of their patient’s teeth. Made by the Dental Manufacturing Co, this shade guide was used for porcelain teeth and shows 24 slightly different colours. Over the years, a range of materials has been used to make false teeth, including ivory, porcelain and mother of pearl – some patients even had dentures made from donated human teeth. Today, false teeth are made from acrylic.

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    Glossary: dentistry

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

    Glossary: tooth shade guide

    A set of pictures that allows a dentist to identify the shade of their patients' teeth. This information is used by the dentist to create an artificial tooth that is a similar shade.