History of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a treatment for replacing missing teeth. This unique treatment uses small titanium posts that are surgically placed into your jawbone. The posts are used to provide support for your replacement teeth. Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or they can be used to replace an entire arch of teeth. After the implants are placed, your bone begins to fuse to the posts, gradually stabilizing them within the jaw. Dental implants have quickly become the most popular option for replacing missing teeth and provide some significant benefits. We are proud to offer this incredible treatment at ROOT™ Periodontal and Implant Center. Dental implants are often thought to be a modern treatment for tooth loss. The truth, however, is that they go back thousands of years. Here is a look into the history of dental implants.
The Earliest Dental Implants
Dental implants have been around for thousands of years. Most of the implants found by archaeologists, however, have been determined to be placed after death. This is believed to have been done to make the body more aesthetic for the afterlife. One of the most interesting discoveries came from a discovery made in 1931. An archaeologist found the mandible of a young Mayan woman, dating back to about 600 AD, who had bits of carved shell and bone in her jaw. Originally, it was believed that the implant was thought to be placed after death, just like many of the other discoveries. However, in 1970, it was found that her bone had begun fusing to the implant, demonstrating that it had been placed while she was still alive.
The start of the implants we know and use today was the result of an accidental discovery in the 1950s. Swedish orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark was researching how bones heal and regenerate. Part of his research involved placing a titanium cylinder in the femur of a rabbit. When he went to remove it later, he found that the bone had begun fusing to the post and that it could not be removed. This discovery sparked further research, using both animal and human subjects, and led to the development of dental implants. He placed the first successful implants in 1965.
After his initial successful surgery, Brånemark did not stop there. He eventually partnered with Bofors AB, which would later become Nobel Industries. This company helped him to develop and market his implant products. Just a few years later, Bofors AB set up Nobelpharma, which is now called Nobel Biocare, a company that focuses solely on the development of dental implants. Over 7 million Brånemark implants have been placed worldwide.
Continuing the Quest to Improve Treatment
Research and development of dental implants continues to this day. Nobel Biocare, and companies like it, are striving to continue to make dental implants more successful, more stable, and more widely available. Many improvements have been made to the original design, which has helped make dental implants available to more patients. They have also been designed to ensure better osseointegration. There is even research into alternative materials, seeking to find alternatives for patients who may not want metal or who may not be able to use metal.
With modern dental implants, we can replace missing teeth while helping to restore your oral health, improve your smile, and protect the health of your jawbone. For more information on dental implants, and to find out if they are the right solution for you, call ROOT™ Periodontal and Implant Center today at Carrollton: (972) 662-8660 or Flower Mound: (469) 444-1515.