History of Dental Implants
The existence of a full set of teeth has been considered to be of substantial significance throughout human civilization for various reasons, including those related to functionality and appearance. Because of this, individuals in different parts of the globe and at distinct times have been motivated to find ways to replace lost teeth, ultimately leading to the development of dental implants and their subsequent widespread adoption, which may be traced back to the year 600 A.D.
As early as 2000 B.C., dental implants were already being utilized in ancient China, where lost teeth were remedied by inserting carved bamboo pegs into the empty sockets. The earliest known instance of a replacement tooth composed of metal was discovered in the corpse of an Egyptian monarch who lived about 1,000 years before the Common Era. However, it is still unknown whether the copper peg was affixed to the jawbone during his lifetime or after he passed away.
Moving forward, archaeologists in France unearthed a Celtic cemetery in France that had an artificial tooth made of iron, thought to have been first used around the year 300 BC. However, for cosmetic reasons, dental specialists believe it is more likely that this was hammered into the jaw after death since the process of installing it during life would have caused great agony.
Many researchers have discovered skulls containing fabricated or transplanted teeth made of rare stones or elephant ivory. It was in 1931 when Dr. Wilson Popenoe and his wife Dorothy discovered the skull of a young lady in Honduras. Her lower jaw had missing teeth replaced with shells. Due to bone growth and calculus, these teeth were designed with functionality rather than looks in mind.
Developments in Dental Implant Techniques
Some researchers in the 17th century started experimenting with gold and metals to construct dental implants. However, it turned out that they were not very effective at all. In 1886, a physician attempted to achieve the same outcomes by mounting a porcelain crown on a platinum disc. This method, too, did not provide beneficial results over the long term. Additionally, the rejection of the foreign body dental implant was the biggest obstacle encountered up to this time.
By this time, most specialists agreed that for a dental implant to be effective, the restoration must integrate with the bone through a process known as osseointegration. In 1952, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark laid the footing for modern-day dental implants via an unintentional discovery using titanium, which proved to be the best material for the dental implant procedure. Brånemark was the same orthopedic physician who was responsible for placing the very first dental implant into the jaw of a living, willing participant.
Present-Day Dental Implants
Since its discovery by Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, dental implants are still being made from high-grade titanium alloy screws to allow them to be firmly fastened to the jawbone. As the wound heals, the implant eventually fuses with the bone. After that, a crown is placed above the implant in the cap. Even if there is a small chance of complications, this technique is still the safest and most effective way to place implants.
Schedule Your Consultation with Us Today
Now that you know the history of dental implants, it's time to book a consultation with Dr. Luisa Snyder and at Fairmount Dental Center to find out if dental implants are right for you. Contact us today by calling us at (503) 362-8364 for more information.