Dental implants have played a significant role in the history of civilization. From functional to aesthetic reasons, people all over the world have placed great value into having a complete set of teeth.
This led them down many different paths such as using dentures and other methods until researchers finally invented dental implants which was considered one of man’s most innovative discoveries.
Unfortunately, despite its popularity, not many people know the ins and outs of dental implants. For instance, not many are sure if dental implants are right for them or how much a dental implant costs.
However, apart from knowing how much dental implants cost or if you are a good candidate for one, there are other interesting things you need to know about this ingenious invention. Read on to find out.
Dental Implant Ancient History
Early versions of dental implants were used in the civilization of ancient China. These early implant inventions included carved bamboo pegs, which replaced missing teeth around 2000 BC.
While examining the teeth of an ancient Egyptian king, scientists discovered a copper peg hammered into his upper jawbone. It’s unknown if this was done during his life or after death to replace one of his missing front teeth.
However it is known that he did not have any remaining natural teeth at all and had only replacements made from wood and other materials such as ivory.
During an archaeological excavation in France, a Celtic grave was uncovered containing a false tooth made of iron that is believed to have originated from approximately 300 BC.
However, experts are more inclined to believe the teeth were hammered into place post mortem for aesthetic reasons because they would cause excruciating pain during live installation.
Ancient civilizations replaced missing teeth with animal or human teeth. Today, dental implants sourced from another person are considered homoplastic and those that come from animals are called heteroplastic.
Homoplasty have a higher risk of infection because the immune system can reject them more easily than heteroimplants which are less likely to be rejected since they aren’t seen as “foreign” material in your body.
Archaeologists have found various other materials inside the jaws of ancient skulls, including rare gems such as jade and common materials like sea shells.
A dentist in 1460, Antonio de Bergamelli was the first to use an iron screw as a dental implant. However, it wasn’t until 1867 that Drs. Per-Ingvar Brånemark and August Boström pioneered the modern titanium alloy implants we see today through extensive research on sheep jawbones at Gothenburg University in Sweden (Bohannon).
Dental Implant Technique Developments
In the eighteenth century, some researchers began to experiment with using gold and alloys for dental implants. However, these did not prove successful in the long term. In 1886 a doctor mounted a porcelain crown on a platinum disc; this also yielded no positive results over time.
Despite the implant’s success, there were early complications that prevented many patients from successfully integrating with their replacement tooth. These included rejection of foreign bodies and bone resorption (bone deterioration).
A major issue that workers have faced for a long time was rejection of the foreign dental implant. For an implant to be successful, the replacement tooth and bone need to fuse together through osseointegration.
The world’s very first fully functional man-made tooth was implanted by Swedish doctor Per-Ingvar Brånemark back in 1965.
The success of the first titanium dental implant quickly led to significant improvement in the techniques used for tooth replacement. The new technique developed using a titanium alloy screw, usually with a rough surface that is thought to help improve the osseointegration process.
Nowadays, dental implants are considered to be the most advanced solution for missing teeth, with a long-term success rate of up to 98% in some dental practices. Dental implants provide an individual’s smile and overall confidence by stimulating natural formation of bone that can support surrounding teeth.