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Two sets of acrylic dentures, England, 1955-1965.

Science Museum, London

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view Two sets of acrylic dentures, England, 1955-1965.

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Credit: Two sets of acrylic dentures, England, 1955-1965. Credit: Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Probably intended for dentists to demonstrate dentures to their patients or by businesses marketing their products, these dentures sets are made from acrylic. This plastic was first used for dentures in the 1930s, eventually replacing traditional materials such as ivory. Dentures in the United Kingdom were available free of charge from 1948 with the introduction of the National Health Service. But demand was so great and the price so high that by 1951 patients had to contribute towards costs.

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