History of Dental Implants
Patients are often interested in dental implants to replace their missing teeth since both appearance and functionality are restored. Dental implants can provide individuals with natural-looking smiles that look and perform like their own teeth.
When patients visit the Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry Center in Los Algodones, Mexico, Dr. Jose Valenzuela explains the entire process. Here, we discuss the history of dental implants to demonstrate how far technology has come over the past few centuries.
Dental Implants in the Ancient World
We think of dental implants as a modern invention. However, civilizations have been experimenting with teeth replacement for centuries. Archaeological discoveries in several different parts of the world – including South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe – reveal that teeth replacement has been explored as long as humans have inhabited the earth. Rocks, jewels, bamboo pegs, and even animal teeth have been used to fill in gaps left behind by missing teeth.
Of course, it would take many centuries to perfect dental implants. In the sections below, we will explore the advances made from the 18th century, forward.
In the 1700s, doctors tried using various alloys and gold to restore teeth. However, researchers were not successful with their efforts, and it would take some time before implants became more viable.
One doctor attempted to place a crown on a platinum disc in 1886 to try and advance the treatment. However, the results were not as expected and did not provide long-term results. With this case and previous attempts, the patient’s body would reject the implant. In order for implants to be successful, osseointegration must take place where the implant fuses with the jawbone.
Per-Ingvar Brånemark, an orthopedic surgeon, discovered by accident in 1952 that titanium was a good material to use. When the doctor was unable to remove a titanium cylinder from a rabbit’s leg, he realized how the titanium fused with the bone. He then used this observation to test out his theory with both humans and animals.
By 1965, Dr. Brånemark was ready to try his luck with a human volunteer. The surgeon used a very conservative method to place the implants that ended up lasting the patient for the rest of his life. In fact, the implants worked until the patient passed away in 2006.
Over the past few decades, there has been much research to develop the best materials and methods to ensure that implants are as long-lasting as possible. Now, implants are made of the highest quality titanium alloy. Researchers continue to find the best practices to provide patients with outstanding results. For example, we now know when the titanium post is roughened, osseointegration is improved.
Who Should Get Dental Implants?
Our Mexicali office consults with patients to determine if dental implant treatment will suit their needs. The procedure works best for individuals who have:
- Overall good health
- One or more missing teeth
- Sufficient bone density
Implants are not recommended for smokers. For individuals who smoke, they are encouraged to stop. If you have gum disease, you will need to have the condition addressed before you get implants. Patients with certain medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune disorders might not be the best candidates for this surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Implants?
Compared to other restorations, implants are permanent since they are fused into the jawbone. Unlike dentures, once implants are placed, you keep them in and do not have to remove them. Since a dental crown is often used, patients achieve a natural look that matches the shape, size, and color of surrounding teeth. Additionally, implants are easy to maintain since you care for them like your natural teeth, including brushing and flossing daily.
Schedule a Consultation
Are you interested in learning more about dental implants? If so, call our Los Algodones office at 866-223-6147, or you can go online to schedule a consultation.