Archaeological evidence suggests that ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and the Mayans used materials like shells and ivory to fashion rudimentary dental implants.
In the centuries that have passed since those early appliances, the materials used have improved considerably, to say the least. The implants that an oral surgeon would place today are made of titanium, which is biocompatible and able to fuse with the jawbone.
A mid-twentieth century discovery made by a Swedish scientist, Per-Ingvar Branemark, established the foundation for modern-day dental implants. In the course of an experiment examining the healing properties of bone, Branemark noticed that titanium devices fused with the bones of the animal test subjects.
This finding suggested that titanium could be a useful material for an implant intended to be a permanent replacement for the root of an absent tooth.
In the decades that followed Branemark’s initial discovery, he and his colleagues, along with other scientists and researchers, continued to refine the devices and materials. Those scientists published articles and presented research at conferences in an effort to further validate the technology.
Eventually, the implant technology was commercialized and made available to patients in the 1980s. Now, dental implants are an increasingly popular treatment for tooth loss. With their lifelike qualities and durability, dental implants are the intervention of choice for many patients in need of a tooth replacement.
At the same time, the surgical techniques used to place dental implants and the restorations (crowns, partials, etc.) that the implants anchor have improved as well. The end result is a replacement tooth with a remarkably lifelike appearance.
Dental implants have a long history over which they have been fine-tuned into the effective, long-lasting appliances in use today. They are versatile and suitable for replacing single teeth, multiple teeth or even an entire arch of missing teeth.
If you choose dental implants, rest assured that the technology has advanced over time, leading to a quality device.
Contact our offices serving the DFW area for more information.