Dental Implant History
Throughout history, a complete set of teeth have been highly valued for both functional and visual reasons. This has encouraged and motivated people around the globe to replace their missing teeth. While most people tend to replace their missing teeth to improve the appearance of their smile, others do it due to the severe implications that missing teeth can have on their life and oral health. All these factors have contributed and led to the use of dental implants.
Dental implants have been around for a really long time. However, they have only recently gained popularity during the past few decades.
The first versions of dental implants were used as early as 2000 BC in ancient China. The people of the ancient Chinese civilization used carved bamboo pegs to replace missing teeth. The first noted case of a metal-based tooth replacement was done on an Egyptian king who lived in 1000 BC.
Archaeological excavations conducted in France also uncovered a Celtic grave in which they found a false iron tooth that is believed to originate from 300 BC. However, many experts suggest that this iron tooth was most likely attached to the jaw during the post mortem for aesthetic reasons.
In ancient history, it was quite common for missing teeth to be replaced with teeth from other humans or animals. In current times, this method isn’t very common as there is a high chance of infection and rejection for implants sourced from another person or animal.
Archaeologists have also found many other materials such as jade or sea shells embedded into the jaw of ancient folk in the form of implants. However, it wasn’t until centuries later that considerable developments were made in the field of dental implants.
The Evolution of Dental Implants
It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that researchers began experimenting with gold and alloys to create dental implants. However, this didn’t prove to be very successful. Then, in the 1880s, a doctor attempted to mount a porcelain crown on a platinum disc. Even though it seemed to be a good idea at first, it didn’t receive many positive outcomes in the long run.
The main concern that all of these people faced when trying to innovate an implant was that being a foreign object, it kept being rejected by their body. It was at this point they realized that the only way the implant would be successful was if it effectively bonded with the jawbone, through a process known as osseointegration.
A couple of decades later, in 1952, an orthopedic surgeon came across the specific properties required for the successful fusion on an implant and the jawbone. After a lot of experimentation, this orthopedic surgeon found that a titanium cylinder bonded successfully with the femur bone of a rabbit, leading to bone healing and regeneration. This is how the first titanium dental implant came into practice. It was finally placed in a volunteer in 1965 by an orthopedic surgeon.
The first successful titanium dental implant led to rapid improvements in the techniques used for tooth replacement. It eventually led to the development of a titanium alloy screw to aid in the process of osseointegration.
Many innovations are currently underway in the field of dental implants. Researchers are currently looking for other materials that are not only biocompatible but also budget-friendly.
If you are looking for a dentist or a prosthodontist to get dental implants or any other tooth replacement, call us at (906) 212-4725 to book an appointment at our clinic Bay Lakes Center for Complex Dentistry.