History of Dental Implants

dental implantsDental implants are devices that are surgically installed in a patient’s mouth as a replacement for their natural, damaged teeth. These devices are thought by many to be innovative solutions to dental conditions. Although this is true, it is important to understand their early oral applications. Dental implants now play a crucial role in the oral surgery realm, but to understand their importance, we must first revisit their rich history.

History of Dental Implants

Dental Implants Early Existence

There is evidence that ancient civilizations used to replace missing teeth through the use of dental implants. Archeological findings have found evidence of tooth replacement in skulls dating as far back as 600 A.D. that belonged to the Mayans. These dental implants were made of stone carvings, seashell fragments, animal bone, and ivory. One of the most amazing facts about these ancient discoveries is the fact that some of the tooth replacements were found to have been fused with the jawbone, which was only thought to have been possible with the use of modern techniques used to install dental implants.

Apart from the Mayans, ancient Egyptian civilizations have been found to have used different materials to replace missing teeth. The materials used were dependent on an individual’s social rank in society. For example, the wealthy used various precious metals, while those who could not afford the precious metals settled for dental  implants made from seashells and bones. Ancient Roman civilization also used dental implants to replace lost teeth. Their material of choice was ivory. 

Dental Implants Evolution

Several centuries later, dental implants began to use the teeth of animals in place of various materials. Due to the high number of infections resulting from various materials used in the process, this method was not successful.

More recently, in the 1800s, various metals and their alloys were used for dental implants. These materials were placed in empty sockets created by missing teeth, but they, too, did not have much success.

The 1950’s are probably the most important decade in the history of modern dental implants, because this is when oral specialists discovered that living bone tissue could be effectively fused with titanium. At this point, scientists decided to use titanium as a bond between the human bone and dental implants, making for much better results.

Dental implants were, at these times, used on patients who were missing all their teeth or who could not use dentures due to lack of sufficient bone density to support their installation. This resulted in difficulties when chewing, biting, smiling, or talking. However, dental implants helped with these complications.

Modern-Day Dental Implants

These dental implants now work for most patients who have a single tooth missing or even all of their teeth gone. They are now effective in restoring the functions and looks of patients’ teeth. They have been found to stop jawbone atrophy, which results in adverse changes in a patient’s facial features. It gets better, though. Modern dental implants are now available in different shapes, sizes, and styles.

Dental implants are installed in a number of procedures that have resulted in high success rates. Because of this, many users consider them permanent solutions for their missing teeth. In addition, dental implants have increased confidence in their patients when they are speaking, smiling, chewing, and biting. Dental implants are easy to care for, which has made them an ideal alternative to dentures and other types of dental solutions.

Consider Dental Implants Today

Are you suffering from tooth loss or decay? If so, dental implants may be a great solution for your needs.

To learn how Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists can service you, contact us at (262) 634-4646 today.

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