If you are considering dental implants or exploring dental options, learning how this technology has evolved in the medical and dental fields over the last millennia can bring a lot of comfort and knowledge – especially if you are the patient. While a lot of the latest dental devices and tools are pretty recent (within the last 100 years), dental implants have a much longer history.
Dental implants have actually been traced as far back as the ancient civilizations in China and Egypt. In 2000 BCE, the Chinese were using carved bamboo stuck into the gumline of a missing tooth. The Egyptians were the first civilization to introduce metal implants. In 1000 BCE, archeologists actually uncovered a mummy that had a copper implant hammered into his jawline. 700 years later, a Frenchman was discovered with an iron implant, although it is suspected that this implant was placed after his death because the pain of hammering an iron slug into the gums would have been excruciating.
Rarely, animal teeth would be used as implants – however, many people found that these would become brittle quickly as they were not implanted into the root or attached to the jawline. Many would only last a few days.
As advanced as our world has become in the medical disciplines, it was actually pretty recent history that dental implants were considered a modern technology in dentistry. While many dentists experimented with dental implant options in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, it was not until 1956 that the first titanium dental implant (discovered by an orthodontic surgeon) was surgically placed. With this successful implant, dental advancements started to ramp up.
Today, dental implants still utilize the titanium technology developed in 1956, but with a twist, literally. Dentists and dental surgeons utilize titanium screws to attach an implant directly to the jawbone (under sedation or anesthesia of course). This technique for replacing missing teeth has allowed thousands of people to resume normal life, speech, and eating habits with little discomfort. In fact, dental implants have a 97% success rate (over 98% at Mile High Dental Centers) and typically last forever with regular dental habits and check-ups.
You can hear more about the history of dental implants in the video above. If you happen to be considering major dental treatment, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our esteemed dental providers. They can provide you with the right options for your specific dental needs. We look forward to caring for your teeth.