The History of Dental Implants
If you have suffered tooth loss, it is important that you have those teeth replaced as soon as possible. Today, you have several options. At Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery, we offer dental implants as a solution for your missing teeth. Dental implants are an alternative to bridges and dentures. This treatment uses titanium posts, which are surgically implanted into your jaw, to provide support for your replacement teeth. Implants are incredibly versatile and can replace a single tooth to an entire arch of teeth. Dental implants are often thought to be a modern development. They go back quite far.
The Earliest Implants
Dental implants go back thousands of years. Evidence of dental implants has been found in different regions all around the globe, including Rome, Egypt, and the Middle East. The earliest skeletons featuring dental implants have been found to have those implants placed after death. It is believed that implants were used to prepare bodies for the afterlife.
One of the most interesting ancient discoveries was a young Mayan woman. The skeleton dates back to about 600 AD. There is an implant in her mandible made up of seashell and bone. What is interesting about her implant is that there is evidence of her jawbone beginning to fuse to it. This evidence points to the implant being placed while she was still alive.
Modern Day Implants
The implants that we use today came about as a result of an accidental discovery in the 1950s. At this time, an orthopedic surgeon by the name of Per-Ingvar Brånemark was researching bone healing and regeneration. During this research, he placed a cylinder of titanium into a rabbit femur. When he went to remove it later, he found that the bone had started fusing to the cylinder and it could not easily be removed.
This discovery, now known as osseointegration, led Brånemark to conduct further research. He used both animal and human test subjects. Eventually, he developed the very first dental implants and placed them successfully in 1965. He did not stop there, however. He entered into a partnership with Bofors AB, a company that now goes by the name of Nobel Industries. This company helped Brånemark to develop and market his implant products. Eventually, this company created Nobelpharma, now called Nobel Biocare. This company focuses solely on the research and development of dental implants. Today, Nobel Biocare is the industry leader in implant products.
The Future of Dental Implants
Dental implants have undergone numerous changes since their original development. These changes have all helped to improve the stability and success of the treatment, as well as made implants more widely available.
While implants have an incredibly high rate of success, there is still research and development going on today. New developments are being made all the time to improve the treatment. Companies are even researching new materials in hopes of finding a metal-free alternative to the titanium alloy mainly used today. The hope is to make implants available to even more patients, including those who have allergies to metals.
Modern-day dental implants provide a unique solution for missing teeth. Not only do they restore the functions of your missing teeth and the aesthetics of your smile, but they also help to protect the health and strength of your jawbone. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, contact Treasure Valley Oral & Facial Surgery today at (208) 994-6227.