History of Dental Implants
Conversation and popularity of dental implants has increased significantly, but the use of implants is far from new. Today, we have decades of research and data to back up why this small device is something to be excited about. At Pine Belt Periodontics, PLLC, we can replace and restore missing teeth by not just placing a false tooth, but by rebuilding the structure from the bottom up.
Dental Implants Long History
The idea of dental implants has a long history, with many trials and errors that extend thousands of years. Anthropologists have expressed surprise and amazement spotting the idea of dental implants in humans dating far back in history. Humans have attempted tooth replacement with varying options for thousands of years. Remains have been spotted with all kinds of items sunk into the jawbone to mimic teeth, including shell, stone, bamboo and more. It wasn’t the attempt at restoring teeth that surprised scientists, it was seeing the response from the human body that did.
Scientists were able to see signs of the body healing around the various materials, growing new bone. The body responded to these ancient attempts with attempts to incorporate them into the bone material. This was an amazing realization. The goal became finding the right material, something that was biocompatible, strong, and restorative.
Around the turn of the 20th century, scientists began experimenting with repairing bone in various places in the skeletal frame with metal. It took time and research to find the right metal to provide the strength, durability, and biocompatibility they were looking for. Titanium was found to be the best metal for surgical procedures and repair.
In the mid-1960’s the modern idea of dental implants began. A Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark began using titanium metal posts to replicate the root system of missing teeth. The research showed that our bones were willing to grow around the post and incorporate them together as a single unit. Dentists were then able to place a false tooth, or framework of teeth, onto the stabilized post for a firm hold. This was the birth of dental implants.
The science is the natural work that our body is already capable of doing, a process known as osseointegration. The term “osseo” refers to bone and integrating is bonding the two pieces together. Our bone can take the titanium and fuse it to the bone.
Today, we still use titanium but have also incorporated a non-metal ceramic option for patients who have metal sensitivity or the possibility of seeing the dark metal coloring through the gum tissue. Ceramic is not as strong as titanium, but should still be able to withstand normal chewing pressure.
Dental implants have allowed dentists to not just replace missing teeth, but actually rebuild the structure. Your bone will see the implant as a new root system, helping it stay healthier and more robust. Once a firm post, or multiple posts, has been established, we can use it to place a dental crown, bridge or even a full denture. Your new tooth will not only look and feel natural, but it will work naturally too.