Tracing the Evolution of Dental Implants

April 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — raleighsmiles @ 10:37 pm
dental implants on blue background.

Tooth loss is a problem; one that humans have been attempting to solve for thousands of years. One common solution that people turn to these days are dental implants; but even though these small, handy titanium posts might seem like a relatively new invention, they actually have a very long and interesting history that has brought them to where they are now. Here’s how dental implants have changed and evolved over time to become the beneficial solution they are today.

Early Versions of Dental Implants

Dental implants have been around for a long time—one of the first “dental implants” was a carved bamboo peg found in China from around 600 A.D. These bamboo pegs were fixed on the jaw where they served as replacement teeth. Ancient Mayans around this time used fragments of seashells and carved stones to a similar effect.

The ancient Egyptians also practiced a similar method—pegs carved from precious metals and gems were placed directly onto the jawbone. Archaeologists have found skulls with artificially transplanted teeth made from things like elephant ivory and jade.

Developments and Changes Throughout History

A variety of different implant materials were used prior to modern times—give a little credit to our ancestor’s ingenuity, but foreign elements are often rejected by the body and dental implants are no exception. A different approach had to be taken—and between 1500 to 1800, European scientists tried various blends of gold and other metal alloys including silver and porcelain but had little luck.

There were few successful developments until 1952, when an orthopedic surgeon began studying the healing and regeneration of bone with bonded titanium. The titanium was able to fully integrate with the bone as it healed and was unable to be removed, making it an ideal material for dental implants. The first titanium implant was used in 1965, and by the 80’s and 90’s many dentists were using titanium implants in their patients.

Modern Dental Implants

Even since the discovery of titanium dental implants, there have been additional developments and advancements. Dental implants no longer have smooth surfaces, but instead have roughened ones—this allows for more surface area which means more bone tissue is in contact with the implant, shortening the overall bonding process from months to weeks.

Dental implants are also now quite affordable, customizable, and thanks to robot-assisted technology, placing them is easier than ever. In fact, modern dental implants have an amazing 97% success rate!

They say that modern problems require modern solutions, but when it comes to tooth replacement, dental implants are a time-tested practice that’s tried and true. Thanks to various updates and developments throughout its history, it’s gradually become the perfect answer for restoring a compromised smile.

About the Practice

Barker, Rohner, & Hunt DMD has proudly served families in the Raleigh area since 1985. Founded initially by Dr. Bruce Barker, over the years Drs. Rohner and Hunt have joined his team to assist in providing a comfortable and satisfying experience for all their patients. The practice offers a wide variety of services including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. They also offer dental implants. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out through their website or by telephone: (919) 847-7100.

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