The History of Dental Implants

Categories: dental implants,dental technology

Dental implants are the latest and greatest technology available to patients in need of tooth replacement, but these devices actually date back thousands of years.

Archaeologists have unearthed evidence suggesting that civilizations as ancient as the Egyptians and Mayans made use of rudimentary dental implants.

Those implants, which appear to have been made of simple materials like ivory, did not require the services of a specially trained oral surgeon, and needless to say, dental implants have improved dramatically since.

The major research development that led to modern dental implants was the discovery in the 1950s that titanium was capable of fusing with bone. A Swedish scientist, Per-Ingvar Branemark, happened to notice this phenomenon during experiments designed to explore how bone heals. He inserted a titanium cylinder into the bone of an animal and later found that it permanently fused with that bone.

That discovery established the foundation of dental implants. Previous researchers had experimented with dental implants made of other materials, but none produced results as consistent and reliable as those made of titanium.

Branemark attempted to publish his results for several decades, but he did not make inroads into the broader scientific community until he was able to present his research in the early 1980s. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also approved dental implants for use in American patients around that time.

During that period, a company that was a predecessor of Nobel Biocare was established making dental implants available commercially. Now, dental implants are widely offered by oral surgeons throughout theUnited States, as well as the world. Dental implant manufacturers focus ongoing efforts on improving the devices’ design for better treatment outcomes and to give a wider variety of patients access to these devices.

Dental implants offer a structurally complete tooth replacement that generally results in better treatment outcomes than alternatives like dentures and bridges. The technology has been fine-tuned over the past several decades to design more reliable, stable devices. Talk to our oral surgeons to learn more about your tooth replacement options. Call 817-552-3223 to schedule your detailed consultation.