Dental implants have become more and more popular as the preferred option to replace missing teeth. It’s easy to assume they’ve been around for a long time. The reality is that the modern dental implant really began to be used in the 1970s.
Dental implant placement is a big part of what we do at Prosthodontics of New York. Whether they are replacing a missing tooth or two or being used as anchors for partial or full sets of dentures, they provide the best stability and longest lasting benefits of any dental prosthetic.
So, in this August blog, here’s a little history on how dental implants came to be.
Dental implants have been tried as far back as humans were using technology. The earliest attempts at dental implants on record are the Mayans in 600 A.D. Archeologists have found ancient skulls with missing teeth and replacements using a variety of materials. These materials range from carved stones such as jade to fragments of seashells. And despite how that sounds, many of those early implants actually fused into the jawbone!
An accidental discovery
As with many technological advances, modern dental implant technology was an accident. In 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon had placed a small titanium screw into a bone of a rabbit. The plan was to study how it could help broken bones fuse back together. But after it had been in the bone for a few months, he tried to remove it and found that the jawbone had completely enveloped it. This property that titanium has of fusing with the bone is osseointegration and is the basis of the modern dental implant.
After that initial discovery, researchers studied the durability and long-term acceptance of the body of titanium. The results show that dental implants could be a long-lasting answer to tooth replacement. Of course, titanium now also finds its way into all sorts of prosthetic devices such as artificial hips and knees. The body accepts titanium, unlike most other metals.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re missing a tooth, or have severe damage to a tooth or teeth, dental implants are the best replacement option. Give us a call at Prosthodontics of New York, (212) 758-9690, to make you’re an appointment or with any questions you may have.