History of Dental Implants
In the modern world, an implant derived from another person would be called homoplastic, while an implant derived from an animal would be categorized as heteroplastic. Of course, the likelihood of infection and implant rejection is increased when using dental implants obtained from an animal or another human and would not be recommended. However, in ancient times, replacing lost teeth with those of other individuals or animals was a fairly typical occurrence. The good news is, today, restorative dentistry has come a long way and does not require the use of human or animal teeth. But, for those who are interested, let’s take a look at the interesting history of dental implants.
The Evolution of Dental Implants
The presence of a full set of teeth has long been valued for both utilitarian and aesthetic reasons throughout the history of civilization. This has motivated individuals throughout history to restore lost teeth, finally leading to the development and widespread use of dental implants.
Early civilizations had the wisdom to understand the long-term advantages of replacing lost teeth thousands of years ago. The Mayan civilization made one of the earliest attempts at this restoration in about 600 AD.
Archaeologists have discovered teeth being replaced with carved stone, jade, and even seashell shards in the skulls they have recovered from this time. Even with the use of the crude materials and techniques that were accessible to these people, their implants had success fusing to the bone, which we assume would have been quite painful in the absence of anesthesia.
The development of dental implants as we know them now, a far more sophisticated and painless method for restoring the mouth to a good, healthy condition, can be traced back to the 1950s.
Dr. Per-Ingvar Brnemark, an orthopedic surgeon and research professor, developed the first dental implants in 1952. He placed a piece of titanium into a rabbit's femur as part of a study on bone repair and regeneration. The titanium had bonded to the bone, making removal impossible. He stumbled onto the fact that titanium implants had a higher success rate and postulated that this technology would be effective for dental implant applications and other areas.
For individuals who had lost their teeth but were unable to function with dentures or bridges, implants were created. Denture users still have a variety of issues with their appliances nowadays. Artificial teeth not only appear, well, false, but they may also be quite unpleasant. Additionally, the mouth's bone will resorb without teeth, posing extra risks to oral health. If you’re still wondering when the first dental implant procedure was carried out in the modern world, then Gosta Larsson, the first known human patient, received the first dental implant in 1965.
Fortunately for us, implants are now available in various forms, dimensions, curves, and textures. They are still constructed of titanium, which is a highly strong material, and have developed through time to fuse more successfully than before. For instance, they are now acid-etched or sandblasted to help implants bond to the bone more quickly and effectively. Previously, they were mechanically smoothed. This shift in methodology is what has made a significant impact in their lifespan.
If you have any questions on dental implant restoration for Dr. Brian Bomberger and at Hometown Dental, contact us today at 971-287-3477.