History of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a surgical alternative treatment method to replace missing and lost teeth. Dental implants have a 97% long-term success rate and are considered to be the most effective and advanced solution for teeth replacement.
Even though other options of teeth replacement like dental crowns, bridges, and dentures are widely used around the world and worn by people on a day-to-day basis to hide their missing teeth, the results and convenience are not the same as the ones obtained from dental implant surgery.
This is because, unlike dentures, bridges, and crowns, dental implants are embedded right into your jawbone, and gradually, with time, they fuse with the jawbone to function just like the real roots of teeth. On the other hand, dentures, dental bridges, and dental crowns are quick fixes that are worn with the help of dental adhesives and can be removed or replaced during the night (in the case of dentures) or after a few months (in the case of crowns and bridges).
Dental bridges are made out of titanium, and the replacement teeth that are fixed on top of them are custom-made to resemble the shape, size, and color of your missing teeth. Thus, it can be said that dental bridges are a hassle-free, aesthetically pleasing, safe, comfortable, convenient, and permanent solution for missing or lost teeth.
A Brief History of Dental Implants
The history of dental implants dates back to 2000 BC, when the concept was first explored and introduced in Ancient China. To replace broken or missing teeth, the ancient Chinese carved bamboo in the shape and size of the teeth and inserted them as pegs on the dental arches. This did not only restore the patient’s smile but also helped them to eat their food and talk without inconvenience.
The second oldest record of dental implants can be found in the Egyptian civilization around 1000 BC. The archeological excavations revealed the remains of one Pharoah who was seen to have copper pegs on his upper jawbone as a replacement for missing teeth. The pegs had been hammered firmly inside the jawbone.
There is still some ambiguity over the fact because some historians believe that the pegs were inserted inside the jawbone after death, as having them hammered inside the jawbone during the Pharaoh's lifetime would have been excruciatingly painful. Whatever the case may be, the idea of using metal implants to replace missing teeth is certainly not new, and we have learned this method of tooth replacement from our ancestors.
Around 300 BC, another discovery in France revealed that the early Celtics had used iron dental implants to replace missing teeth. Throughout history, people experimented with several materials like gemstones, seashells, and jade to act as a much stronger replacement for the broken teeth but the most popular idea was the insertion of another human’s teeth or animal teeth into the jawbone.
Homoplastic implant, where another human’s tooth was implanted inside the jawbone, and heteroplastic implant in which an animal’s tooth was implanted inside the jawbone were fairly common during the Elizabethan and Victorian eras. But this only leads to an increase in oral infections because the sourced teeth were obtained from deceased humans or animals and contained harmful bacteria.
However, the 20th century was seen to be a real game-changer for dental implants. It laid down the foundation of modern-day dental implants. In 1952, an orthopedic surgeon discovered by accident that titanium metal fuses perfectly with living bones. While experimenting on bone healing procedures, he saw that the titanium cylinder that he had placed inside the femur of his rabbit for additional support eventually fused with the bone to create a strong foundation. He advised the dental association that dental implants should be made from titanium as it supports osseointegration.
Using his work as a reference, in 1965, an orthopedic surgeon by the name of Branemark performed the world’s first dental implant surgery on a human volunteer and inserted titanium dental implants into his jawbone. The surgery was a success, and since then, the procedure has been perfected and performed several million times to replace people’s missing or broken teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
Here at Clackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center, we perform safe and effective dental implant surgeries for all those who have lost their teeth. Call us today at (503) 662-8744 to book your appointment.