Dental implants may be a newer phenomenon to some people, but they’ve actually been around for quite some time. However, they were not always made of titanium or zirconia. Surprisingly, people resorted to alternative materials to try and recreate the complete tooth structure. If you are interested in discovering more about the evolution of these unique prosthetics, read on to find out what led to the longer-lasting tooth replacement we have today.
The Early Years
If you think we only plan to go back to the mid-20th century, you’ll be surprised to learn the first attempts at a dental implant started back in China circa 600 A.D. Using bamboo pegs, they were placed within a person’s jaw to create a new tooth.
Once civilization reached 1000 B.C., the Egyptians performed a similar process using metals before placing them into the jawbone.
If you fast-forward to 1500-1800, you will discover that many of the efforts used by previous civilizations were unsuccessful. Why? Because the materials used would not integrate with the jawbone. Even when scientists attempted to use gold and metal, the results failed.
Dental Implants in Modern Times
It wasn’t until the early-1900s that Drs. Alvin and Moses Strock used Vitallium to place dental implants. Although they’re credited with the first successful implant placement, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, in 1952, placed titanium in a rabbit’s femur while studying how this unique metal can heal and regenerate bone. Discovering it fully integrated with the rabbit’s bone, he could not remove the titanium, which led to what we know now as dental implant placement.
His discovery led to the first human tooth replacement with dental implants in 1965, and he later developed the zygomatic prosthetic, which served patients with significant bone loss in the zygomatic, not maxilla bone.
Dental Implants As We Know Them
Today, dental implants are a vastly popular option among individuals suffering from tooth loss. However, they are quite expensive upfront, which causes many people to resort to other options, such as dental bridges or dentures.
The technology used to place dental implants has changed from the days of simply hammering something into the bone hoping it remains in place. Nowadays, dentists use CT Cone Beam Scanners and digital X-rays to ensure a successful treatment plan and procedure.
In the future, many are hopeful that the price tag will lower and become a more feasible solution for patients with missing teeth; however, most dental professionals offer alternative ways to pay to make the procedure as affordable as possible.
The dental implants you see today are drastically different than those created thousands of years ago, but the one common factor remains the same. People are always looking for ways to achieve a complete, functional smile. Fortunately, the prosthetics used today can help you reach your goal with greater ease.
About the Author
Looking to replace one or all your missing teeth? You’ll be pleased to know that Dr. Matthew Nawrocki and the team at Jacksonville Dental Specialists are here to help you navigate the process from start to finish. Using dental implants to mimic your natural tooth structures, you’ll enjoy greater oral function, improved confidence, and a more youthful appearance in the years to come. To learn more about these superior prosthetics or to find out if you are a candidate for treatment, contact us at (904) 683-4781.