History of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a highly popular treatment used for replacing missing teeth, and one that we at Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery at Simi Valley are proud to offer. The treatment involves the surgical implantation of small titanium posts into your jawbone. The bone fuses to the posts, integrating them into the jaw and enabling them to provide stable support for your replacement teeth. Dental implants provide numerous benefits over traditional treatments, including greater comfort and the preservation of your jawbone. However, just where did this revolutionary treatment come from?
The Early Dental Implants
Dental implants are thought to be a modern treatment. While this is true of the implants that we use today, dental implants have been around for quite some time. The earliest implants date back to 600 AD. Archaeologists discovered the mandible of a young woman that had pieces of shell and bone in place of a real tooth. The most interesting thing about this discovery was that her bone had begun to fuse to her implant, showing that it had been placed while she was still alive.
Several other discoveries have been made all around the globe and from all different time periods. Middle Eastern skeletons have been found with ivory for teeth, and ancient Egyptian mummies have been found with gold wire. Archaeologists have also discovered a Roman soldier with a piece of iron for a replacement tooth.
The Discovery of Osseointegration
Modern-day dental implants are the result of an accidental discovery in the 1950s. A Swedish orthopedic surgeon by the name of Per-Ingvar Brånemark was researching bone healing and regeneration. During his studies, he implanted a piece of titanium into the femur of a rabbit. When he went to remove it later, he discovered that the bone in the femur had begun fusing to the titanium. Brånemark had accidentally discovered osseointegration.
It was this discovery that sparked further research. In 1965, he placed the first successful dental implants. He was not done there. He entered into a partnership with Bofors AB, now called Nobel Industries. The company helped him to design and market his products. In 1981, Bofors AB founded Nobelpharma. This company was founded to focus solely on the research and development of dental implants. Now called Nobel Biocare, it is the industry leader in dental implant products. Currently, there have been over 7 million Brånemark systems placed worldwide.
Even today, there is continuing research and development on dental implants. There is a continual quest to improve their success and reliability. Several improvements have been made since the first implants were placed. Implants today are made from a titanium alloy, rather than pure titanium. Pure titanium was too soft. With additional metals, the titanium alloy is incredibly strong, stable, and fracture resistant. Other improvements include the addition of posts with multiple circumferences and posts that have a rough texture. Today, there is even research being done into other materials to provide an alternative to titanium. Currently, the best alternative so far is zirconia. Called ceramic implants, zirconia implants are considered metal free and are white in color.
Modern dental implants may be a more recent development for tooth replacement, but they have proven highly effective and very popular. If you are missing teeth, dental implants may be for you. Call Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery at Simi Valley at (805) 328-2180 today to schedule your consultation.
Dental implants and All-on-4® Treatment Concept has literally transformed millions of lives. Why not see what they can do for you or someone you love? Want to know more?
Call us at (805) 328-2180 to schedule a consultation, to see if dental implants are right for you.
Request an Appointment