“Waterloo teeth” represent a more ghoulish time in the history of dentistry.

Today’s dentures are expertly crafted oral prosthetics made from resins and synthetic materials. But in the dark ages of dentistry, wealthy people could turn to real human teeth to fill in gaps in their smiles.

Such ghoulish dentures are usually referred to as “Waterloo teeth,” thanks to the practice of yanking perfectly good teeth from battlefield casualties. No one is quite sure where that name originally came from, and it’s even a bit misleading. But none of that makes the history of humans filling their mouths with the teeth of other humans any less fascinating.

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Shared from: Atlas Obscura