Dental implants are one of the most popular tooth replacement options available these days. But what do you really know about dental implants? Where did they come from? Who developed dental implants? What are the benefits of dental implants? Most people don’t know the answers, so here is a dental implant crash course to consider if you are missing a tooth.
History of Dental Implants
Some people think that dental implants are new, but that is not necessarily the case. Dental implants have evolved into what we know them to be today, but the concept of dental implants actually comes straight out one of the oldest cultures. The Mayan culture is the first one we know of to find working implants for lost teeth.
We shouldn’t be too surprised that the solution was influenced by attempts made during an early period in human history. The Mayans were amazingly more advanced than almost any other culture at the time. They are responsible for building the world’s first suspension bridge. Now, this was not a primitive attempt that acted like a bridge but rather a real, recognizable feat of architectural prowess that spanned a river more than 100 feet wide. This bridge was impressive, even by today’s standards. The Mayans also invented concrete and developed a water collection system so that they could irrigate their crops during the dry season. In perspective to all this, it may be that one of their less amazing inventions was the dental implant.
The Mayans would take seashells and hard minerals and insert them into a person’s gums to act like replacement teeth. These replacements were not entirely effective, but we are able to learn a very important lesson from these early attempts. The body wants to have a full arch of teeth and will do what it can to make that a reality. We know this because the shells and minerals in remains show evidence that the body was trying to integrate them into the dental structure. Your body will do its part to get working teeth, but we just need to give it something to work with.
The Accident That Changed Everything
Fast-forward hundreds of years. The biggest benefit that modern dental implants provide is the stability they give replacement teeth. The funny thing is that the reason they are so stable is due to a process called osseointegration, and it was a complete accident that we ever found out this trait existed.
In 1952, an orthopedic surgeon was running an experiment on rabbits. He wanted to find out what the blood flow was like in their bones. To measure this, he implanted titanium cylinders. Once his experiment was over, the surgeon tried to remove the cylinders from the bone. What he found was that the titanium bonded completely with the bone. This is where the idea of osseointegration was born, and this surgeon soon took the idea to the world of dental implants. The first set of titanium dental implants were placed in 1965, and they lasted that patient for 40 years.
Benefits of Modern Dental Implants
The modern versions of these first dental implants are able to do so much to improve the appearance of your smile. Our Panama City, FL office is able to provide you with dental implants, and all you need to do is give us a call. But first, you probably want to know what the benefits of dental implants are.
Stability – The osseointegration of modern dental implants is something that even your real teeth cannot do: become part of your jawbone. Replacement teeth attached to implants cannot move around because the implants are actually fused to your jawbone.
Look – Dental implants look like your real teeth as well. They are placed in the same spots that once belonged to your missing teeth, and they will have a crown, bridge, or set of dentures custom made to match the other teeth in your smile. Frankly, your new teeth may look even better than your original teeth.
Bone Health – When you lose teeth, your jawbone will begin to deteriorate over time if you don’t find a replacement. Dental implants are the only option in dentistry that can give that replacement. As replacement tooth roots, they will support your dental bone in the same way your real teeth did.