The History of Dental Implants

Dental implants have received a great deal of attention in recent years, but many patients don’t realize that the devices have been present throughout history.

The earliest evidence of dental implants was found in societies as ancient as the Mayans. Those rudimentary appliances were made of materials like shells and ivory.

A modern-day implant dentist can offer patients better tooth replacement technology, though, thanks to the accidental discovery made by a Swedish researcher in the 1950s.

That scientist, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was conducting an unrelated experiment when he became the first to notice that titanium devices fused with an animal’s bone, becoming a permanent part of the body.

That biocompatibility of titanium is crucial to dental implant success. The titanium implant osseointegrates with the jawbone, offering the closest approximation of a biological tooth’s root.

This process gives the dental implant the stability and durability that make it so attractive as a tooth replacement option.

In addition to the permanence of dental implants, their structural function is also an important feature. Not only does the tooth’s root serve as the tooth’s base, it also helps to anchor the jawbone. When the tooth’s root is absent, the jawbone begins to erode.

Dental implants are the only tooth replacement device that replace the root in addition to the tooth’s visible crown portion.

The first dental implant was placed in a patient in 1965. In the years that followed Branemark’s discovery and the first dental implant patient, scientists worked to improve upon dental implant technology to the extent that it would become commercially viable.

In the 1980s, the Food and Drug Administration approved dental implants, giving countless patients the opportunity to benefit from them.

Dental implant manufacturers are constantly working to improve upon their products. Additionally, the artificial crowns and prosthetic arches that sit atop dental implants are becoming increasingly lifelike.

Take advantage of the most effective technology available if you need to replace a missing tooth. Talk to your Charlottesville implant dentist, Dr. Carlos Rafael Ibañez, to see if dental implants are an appropriate treatment for your particular case. Call 434-295-0911 to schedule your visit.

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