History of Dental Implants
The history of dental implants is quite extensive with their invention dating back to 2000 B.C. Although this modern, restorative method didn’t become popular until the 19th century, small but significant advancements had been made throughout the years. Efforts to improve the success rate of dental implants were seen in various countries, leading to the safe and effective implants we use today.
If you’re thinking of investing in dental implants, visit JP Dental and Implant Center. Our Grand Junction dentist offers this restorative procedure to help replace missing teeth in the smile.
Who Invented Dental Implants?
The invention of dental implants can be credited to various groups throughout history, such as the Egyptians, Chinese, Etruscans, Celts, Romans, Phoenicians, and Mayans. These cultures all played an important role in the development of modern dental implants. In fact, the revolutionary steps taken to advance implants were made using simple and limited tools!
Original Materials Used for Treatment
In contrast to the biocompatible material used in dental implants today, early inventors tested various objects when trying to replace a missing tooth. Unlike the custom made, prosthetic teeth used in patients nowadays, original dental implants consisted of animal teeth, human cadaver teeth, gold, copper, iron, bamboo pegs, or even human teeth provided by underprivileged living donors.
Now you must be thinking, how did they manage to hold the implants in place? These early inventors often used gold wires to secure the implants and even went as far as creating bridges for their patients!
Early models of dental implants were used in ancient China as early as 2000 BC. Carved bamboo pegs were initially used to replace missing teeth.
Evidence of the first ever tooth replacement made of metal comes from the body of an Egyptian king who ruled around 1000 BC. A copper peg was found hammered into his upper jawbone. However, it is not known whether the peg was fixed during his lifetime or after his demise.
In France, a Celtic grave was found through archeological excavations where a false tooth made of iron was found to be fixed in the mouth of the body. Experts believe that it was installed into the mouth after death for aesthetic reasons, as the pain of fixing it during the person’s lifetime would have been unbearable without the invention of anesthesia.
In ancient history, it was common practice to replace missing teeth with teeth from animals or other people. The Etruscans (ancient Italians) are reported to have used gold bands from animals that were modified by soldering. Artificial teeth were also made from oxen bones.
In this day and age, an implant made from another human being’s teeth is known as a homoplastic implant and one made from animal teeth is known as a heteroplastic implant. However, there is a high risk of infection if dental implants are crafted from the teeth of an animal or another human.
Around 600 AD, the Mayans began installing shell pieces in the lower jaw (mandible), which are considered to be the first evidence of dental implants that are close to their modern day version. The radiographs of Mayan mandibles in the 1970s illustrate that the bone growth around the implants was similar to contemporary implants.
Development of Dental Implants
In the 1700s, researchers tried making dental implants using gold and alloys. However, this venture was unsuccessful. In 1886, a doctor fixed a porcelain crown on a platinum disc, which also did not prove to be viable in the long run.
The main problem was that the mouth kept rejecting the foreign body of the implant. Finally in 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark discovered the required qualities to make the implant bond with the jawbone.
During a study on bone healing and regeneration, Brånemark found that a titanium cylinder was able to fuse with the femur bone of a rabbit. This helped him conclude that a similar fusion could also be utilized in other fields, such as dentistry. A titanium dental implant was first installed in a human volunteer’s jaw in 1965.
Explore Implants at JP Dental and Implant Center
If you’re considering investing in dental implants and would like to take full advantage of the all the advancements made in implant placement, contact our Grand Junction, CO dentist! At JP Dental and Implant Center, we strive to create flawless beautiful smiles for all our patients. Whether you’re missing one tooth or multiple teeth, our doctors can help you restore your smile! Call us today to get started!