While most people view dental implants as a modern procedure, people have experimented with implants of various styles and materials for thousands of years. It is believed that the desire to replace missing or damaged teeth with these artificial implants arose thousands of years ago to help people achieve beautiful, healthy, and fully functional smiles.
But when we're the first artificial teeth implanted? Who were the first known people to use dental implants? And what materials did they use? Let's take a look at some quick interesting facts about dental implants over time.
Brief History of Artificial Teeth
- It starts from 4000 years ago when in ancient China, carved bamboo pins were used to replace missing teeth.
- Around 3,000 years ago, an Egyptian king stuck a copper pole into his upper jawbone. Although this may have been placed after death, it is the first recorded case of a metal replacement tooth adhering to the jawbone.
- A 2300-year-old denture was recently found with real teeth in a Celtic grave in France. Experts believe they were adapted for enhancing smiles after death because it would be so painful to push them into the jaw.
- Evidence suggests that 2000 years ago, people often tried to replace lost teeth with animal teeth or teeth bought from slaves and the poor. Currently, implants from one animal are currently classified as heteroplastic implants, whereas implants from another are classified as homoplastic implants. The replacement tooth from the mouth of another person or animal will likely become infected and will be rejected by the host.
- Archaeologists have found ancient skulls dating back about 1,350 years in which teeth were replaced with many different materials, from jade to shells. In some cases, the replacement teeth are even fused to the jawbone. An example is Dr. and Mrs. Wilson Popenoe, who excavated Mayan ruins in Honduras in 1931 and found a jaw with three-tooth shells engraved in the lower jaw of human remains. Interestingly, the bony structure around the shell shows signs of regeneration.
The major developments in dental implants however occurred much later.
Development in the 18th and 19th centuries
Major innovations in implantology emerged in the 1700s and 1800s. Dentists and doctors are experimenting with gold and other metal alloys to make dentures. These early attempts were ineffective because the body often rejected these initial implants. It will take time to identify a suitable alloy for the implant.
In 1886, a doctor attached a porcelain crown to a platinum disc, which did not give positive long-term results either.
Dental Implications in the early 20th century
In the 1930s and 1940s, physicians began using orthopedic screws to hold dentures in place. The concept of a special spiral conductor is used to stimulate bone growth around these early implants.
In the 1950s, Leonard Linkow was one of the first to insert titanium and other metal implants into the bones of the jaw.
First Successful Artificial Teeth Implantation
The advanced state of dental implants is based largely on research by the Swedish dentist Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Through experiments, he discovered that titanium could fuse with human bone (a process known as osseointegration), making it an ideal material for repairing dentures.
In 1965, Dr. Brånemark performed the first titanium pillar dental implant procedure in a male volunteer patient who had a cleft palate, jaw deformity, and no teeth in the lower jaw. Thanks to these four durable titanium implants, the patient was able to use his prosthesis comfortably and effectively until his death, approximately 40 years later.
It has been a major foundation in dental history, and the cycle has improved dramatically over the last few decades through research and a yearning for excellence. Modern dental implants consist of high-quality titanium composite screws, which often have a rough surface to enhance osseointegration. These titanium screws are attached to the jaw where the teeth are and are then allowed to be repaired. After the screw has been attached to the jaw, the part with the crown is placed on top. This strategy has a high success rate over distance with adequate oral hygiene and care.
Earlier, when the first dental inserts planned, one size used to fit all. Natural dental implants have a similar outline, while the length of every tooth shifts relying upon the kind of tooth being replaced. Dental inserts are smoothed and machine polished, however, they actually don't deliver the characteristic dental inserts we have today.
With the help of sophisticated equipment and technology, implants are now available in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit the missing tooth. Today's dental implant surfaces provide a more natural appearance. In addition, the surface of the dental implant adheres more easily to the bone and for a longer period of time.
Currently, dental implants are considered the most advanced solution for tooth loss with a long-term success rate of up to 97% in some dental clinics.
They are currently the only reliable solution for supporting the surrounding teeth and stimulating natural bone formation. In this way, they can restore individual smiles and general confidence.