Dental implants are titanium screws that replace the roots of missing pearly whites. They fuse with the bone through osseointegration, which makes them as stable and lifelike as your natural teeth. Modern dental implants are a great way to prevent oral health issues and complete your smile, but they weren’t always as dependable as they are now. Read on to learn about the history of implants as well as how they evolved to become what we’re familiar with today.
Ancient Dental Implants
The first dental implants were crafted from bamboo carved into pegs in China around 600 A.D. In 1000 B.C., Egyptians used precious metals to make carved pegs, which was the first time in recorded history when these materials were used to make implants. Archeologists have discovered ivory and rare gems like jade fashioned into pegs as well. Small carved stones and bits of seashells were also found in the jaws of ancient Mayans, and some of them had even begun fusing with the bone.
Developments in Dental Implants
Between the 1500s and 1800s, scientists in Europe tried using silver and porcelain as well as blends of gold and other metal alloys to craft dental implants. They made tubes from iridium, which is a very hard and brittle metal. Teeth were also extracted from underprivileged and deceased people during this time. They were transplanted into the mouths of the wealthy to fill in the gaps.
Dental Implants in the 20th Century
Significant improvements were made to implants in the 1900s. Dr. EJ Greenfield replaced missing teeth with an iridio-platinum cylinder soldered with gold in 1913. Doctors and brothers Alvin and Moses Strock later experimented with using Vitallium orthopedic screw fixtures in the 1930s and implanted them into the mouths of both dogs and humans. The Strock brothers are often regarded as the first people to successfully place dental implants.
Modern Dental Implants
Dr. P.B. Adams patented an implant featuring a healing cap that was meant to encourage tissue repair, a smooth gingival (gum) collar, and internal and external threading in 1938. Drs. F. Zepponi and Manlio Formiggini developed a dental implant in the 1940s that had a stainless-steel spiral and allowed the jawbone to grow into the metal. Spanish doctor Perron Andres later modified their design to also include a solid shaft.
An orthopedic surgeon learned that titanium fuses to bone in 1952, which led people to believe it could be the best choice for implants. In 1965, the first titanium implant was placed. In the 1970s, the version we’re used to seeing today started gaining traction.
Dental implants have changed a lot over time. Today, they are an incredibly reliable method of replacing teeth that can give you a gorgeous, healthy grin that lasts a lifetime!
About the Practice
Dr. Randall Nameth leads a compassionate team of Worthington oral health professionals who are here to bring a smile to your face. They offer tooth replacement options like implants to fill in the gaps and help you regain your confidence in your smile. If you are interested in setting up an appointment with Dr. Nameth or want to learn more about dental implants, visit their website or call (614) 846-2222 to get started today.