The History of Dental Implants
Looking Back to Materials Used in the PastIn 2000 BC the Chinese used the first version of dental implants – carved bamboo pegs. We don’t see metal dental implants being used until 1000 BC when they have first seen in an Egyptian king whose upper jawbone had a copper peg that was hammered into it. There is some question as to whether this happened before or after his death though.
The great debate here centers around the amount of excruciating pain such a procedure would have caused him. French archaeologists found a Celtic grave containing a false iron tooth from around 300 BC. This they believe to have been hammered into the person’s jaw after their death – something that was done for aesthetics.
What’s more common throughout history was for missing teeth to be replaced with teeth from animals (heteroplastic implants) or other people (homoplastic implants). Unfortunately, with such implants, there’s a high risk of developing an infection. This is why, throughout history, there have been a variety of other materials used. Archaeologists have found everything from rare gems (e.g., jade) to more common materials (e.g., sea shells) in ancient human skulls. In the 18th century gold and alloys were experimented with, but unfortunately, they didn’t work too well.
Looking Back to Materials and Techniques Used in the PastThroughout history one of the major problems with dental implants was that the human body would reject the foreign object. As such, this led to the failure of many implants because replacement teeth must fuse with your bone – a process that’s known as osseointegration. This is a process that was first discovered in 1952 by an orthopedic surgeon by the name of Per-Ingvar Brånemark.
Brånemark was conducting a study about bone healing and regeneration when he stumbled over this process when he discovered how a titanium cylinder fused with a rabbit’s femur bone. Based on this finding, he hypothesized that this was a process that could be used in various fields, including dental implants. This led him to place the first successful titanium dental implant in a human’s mouth in 1965.
Looking Ahead to the FutureToday, dental implants are 97% successful over the long-term. They’re also the only solution that can support your surrounding teeth reliably while also naturally molding itself to your bone. As such, they’re a great way to restore your smile and improve your self-confidence.
Now that you have a better understanding of how far we’ve come in the area of dental implants, you may feel more comfortable getting this treatment. To find out if you’re a good candidate, you’ll want to reach out to us at Encino Cosmetic Dentistry at today. Schedule an appointment so we can discuss your dental health needs soon.