History of Dental Implants
People who are naturally missing some or most of their teeth or have lost their teeth as the result of an accident, severe tooth decay, or old age need replacements for their permanent teeth that are absent. People who are missing their teeth don’t just have an unusual smile, but they also have to face extreme difficulty and inconvenience while eating and talking.
To replace missing or lost teeth, dentists recommend dental devices such as dentures, crowns, and bridges. However, people who are looking for a permanent, non-removable, and hassle-free solution for their missing teeth may be recommended for dental implant surgery by their orthodontists. Dental implants have many benefits that make them the ideal choice for teeth replacement.
Dental implants are small metal screws that are inserted inside the jawbone and act as the artificial roots for the new teeth that will be fixed to replace the lost or missing teeth. A surgical procedure is performed for successful implantation, during which the dental surgeon will remove gum tissue to access the jawbone underneath.
With the help of dental drills, a small hole with a diameter of about 2.0mm to 3.5mm is drilled inside the jawbone. The metal screw, usually made out of titanium, is inserted inside this hole. The dental implant has an extension at the top, known as the abutment. This small metal extension sticks out of the gum tissue and acts as a holder for the replacement tooth that will later be fixed on it.
After the implantation, the surgeon will stitch back the gum tissue using dissolvable stitches. To hide the metal abutment, a temporary crown will be fixed on top of it. The recovery process along with osseointegration, a natural process in which the metal screw completely fuses with the jawbone and acts as a strong foundation and root for your new tooth, can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months.
Once you have recovered from the dental implant surgery and the implant has been infused or osseointegrated with the jawbone, a custom-made tooth will be fixed on top of the abutment and will look and work just like your real tooth.
A Brief History of Dental Implants
The history of dental implants and the use of replacement teeth goes as far back as 2000 BC. In ancient China, bamboo pegs were used to replace missing teeth. These pegs were carved in the shape and size of the missing teeth and installed on the dental arches to allow the person to eat and talk properly.
Later, in 1000 BC, in ancient Egypt, people discovered the art of using metal pegs to replace missing teeth. The remains of an Egyptian king show that copper pegs were installed in his upper jawbone.
In 300 BC, the early Celtics had started using false teeth made from iron to replace missing or broken teeth. But in most cases, teeth extracted from the mouths of animals were used to replace missing teeth in humans.
Since the risk of infection was always greater in using animal teeth as tooth replacements, today this practice is no longer in use, and dental implant supported teeth are made materials like porcelain, ceramic, acrylic, composite resin, and even metals like gold, silver, cobalt, and chromium.
It was not until 1952 that an orthopedic surgeon accidentally discovered the infusing properties of titanium that allowed it to osseointegrate into human bone. He discovered that a titanium cylinder had infused with the femur bone of his rabbit while he was experimenting on bone healing, and this led to the conception of dental implants. In 1965, the first dental implant surgery was performed on a human volunteer by a dental surgeon named Branemark. A titanium dental implant was inserted inside the jawbone, and it was allowed to osseointegrate.
Currently, dental implant surgery has a long-term success rate of about 97% and is considered to be the most effective and sought-after alternative for teeth replacement.
Here at Davis Dental Practice our expert team of orthodontists and dental surgeons includes Our doctors and our doctors. Call us today at (530) 756-5300 to see if you're a candidate for dental implants.