History of dental implants

Dental implants have existed for thousands of years.

Innovation hammered into your head:

A history of dental implants

On a child, a smile missing a tooth is darling. Your own memories of wiggling and plucking out teeth will come surging back, the joyful smile without a care for gums and gaps more endearing than words can say. Yet as an adult, you have no fascination with gaps from your own missing teeth.

Embarrassment is more potent than curiosity, and if there’s a gummy rift in your smile then you’ll be much less likely to use it. Replacing a tooth has clear functional value, as you need them to eat. But the way dental implants can rekindle your confidence is one of the most compelling reasons to move forward with one.

Dental implants are the most sophisticated tooth replacement option, and with current technologies have the highest success rate over less permanent options. A surgery is performed to place the implant that is later capped with a crown. With expert after-care and good oral hygiene, the benefits of a dental implant are yours to be had.


The history of dental implants

Implants have been around conceptually for thousands of years, their evolution turning around the materials used to make them. You’ll marvel at man’s ingenuity knowing the extent of materials and customs that lead to the contemporary dental implants of the last 35 years.

Present-day dental implants came at the end of many imaginative attempts at tooth replacement throughout history. In China 4,000 years ago, temporary dental implants were explored using carved bamboo pegs. In ancient Egypt, decorated tooth replacements were hammered into heads post mortem.

In 1931, an excavation of Mayan ruins in Honduras uncovered a jawbone with what might be the oldest recorded permanent tooth replacement. In the 1350-year-old jaw, pieces of shells were found in place of teeth. And while this was initially thought to be in line with post mortem practices seen elsewhere in the world, the jawbone showed a bone formation around the shells, suggesting that they were placed during life.

Other materials used over the course of time include ivory, gold and platinum. The discovery that made the difference in the feasibility (and durability) of modern dental implants was the 1952 finding by Dr. P. Branemark of how bone forms around titanium.

Dental implants have existed for thousands of years.

How we arrived at modern implants

Dr. P. Branemark took his findings and began developing dental implants, seeing the jaw as a more accessible place to continue studying the regeneration of bone with titanium. By the late 1970s, a small handful of volunteer patients had dental implants that had successfully fused into the jaw. By the mid-1980s, development in dental implants had picked up significantly.

Dental implants are considered the most advanced form of tooth replacement. Not only do they have clear functional impact on a patient after placement, but they carry other unique benefits well beyond non-permanent replacement options:

  • Physically support surrounding teeth; avoid displacement
  • Metals and treatments used stimulate natural bone formation
  • Restore full ability to chew food
  • Permanently restore a smile—and the confidence that comes with it

The support of your surgeon

The high success rate with dental implants is representative of the expertise required to perform this type of surgery. Extensive training is required, and both surgical and restorative knowledge are needed for a dental implant to be placed and cared for correctly.

After millennia of man’s ingenuity and progress in tooth replacement, today we enjoy the benefits of state-of-the-art technologies and extensive medical training. We have come to the pinnacle of care, materials and expertise after centuries of innovation.

Call or write us today to discuss the life-changing value a dental implant can bring.