While you may think of dental implants as a modern invention, that isn’t entirely true. Today, dental implants are more advanced and successful than they have ever been, but they have actually been around for thousands of years. Tooth loss isn’t only a modern-day issue, but it is something that humans have struggled with for a long time. Fortunately, we are problem solvers and have been looking for a solution for many years. Continue reading to learn more about the beginning of dental implants and how they have evolved over time.
The first known version of dental implants dates back to approximately 2000 BC. They were made from carved bamboo pegs in the civilization of ancient China. However, the first recorded case of a metal tooth replacement comes from an Egyptian king who lived around 100 BC. He had a copper peg that was hammered into his upper jawbone in order to replace one of his missing teeth.
Even though there was a much higher risk of infection, teeth from animals or other humans were often used as replacement teeth. Other things that were used to replace teeth around the world included rare gems, like jade, and seashells. However, it took many years for dental implants to become popular.
In the 18th century, researchers were beginning to experiment with both gold and alloys in order to create more reliable dental implants than what could be seen in ancient history. In the 19th century, a doctor was able to mount a porcelain crown on a platinum disc. However, none of these attempted methods proved to be successful.
An orthopedic surgeon discovered in 1952 that titanium cylinders fuse together with bone. Because of this, it was hypothesized that titanium may be the ideal material to use in order to create a dental implant. The first titanium dental implant was placed in a volunteer in 1965.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that modern dental implants started making their first appearances. As time has gone on dental implants are becoming more and more advanced. Now, they are more customizable than they have ever been. In fact, there are implants out there for people who are missing one tooth, multiple teeth, or even all of their teeth. Currently, they have a success rate of up to 98% and are the only tooth replacement option out there that maintains the integrity of the jawbone, therefore preventing bone loss. They have become a preferred method by both dentists and patients.
Implants have come a long way and they are only going to become more advanced and reliable as time goes on. Because of innovations like dental implants, missing teeth can be a thing of the past.