Believe it or not, the history of dental implants begins more than 1300 years ago with the ancient Mayans. Back in 600 AD, a young woman was missing some of her lower teeth. The same as any modern woman, she wanted her smile beautified.
She received what is perhaps one of the world’s first dental implants. It was made from pieces of shell shaped to resemble teeth.
Similar discoveries were made when excavating ancient Egyptian artifacts. The Egyptian implants were made from shells and ivory.
It was decades after these archaeological discoveries before the modern world caught up with the Mayans’ dental technology.
Dental implants, as we know them today have been around since 1965! They were invented by a Swedish scientist named PI Branemark somewhat by accident.
In 1952, He was trying to make a screw that could be easily removed to repair bones in the rest of the body. When he went back to remove the screws, he couldn’t! The screw was fused to the bone. He then began many years of testing and research.
The first practical application of dental implants shaped like roots, was in 1965.
So modern dental implants have been around 44 years! They are very mainstream for the replacement of teeth. 800,000 dental implants were placed in the United States last year.
Some people think dental implants are reserved for reconstruction of facial injuries from car accidents or sports injuries. They are used for that, but most commonly they are used for everyday people like you and I.
Most commonly I replace just one molar with an implant. Sometimes the natural tooth has such a big cavity that it just has to be extracted. Often times a tooth with a root canal fractures vertically through the root. At that point there is no option but to extract the tooth.
In those 44 years, there has been great progress in dental implantology. My own success rate is 99.6%, which is much higher than average. It is very rare that an implant that I place does not work. If the implant doesn’t take, I simply replace it with another at no cost to the patient!
Whether you’ve lost a tooth or teeth to an accident or an oral disease, dental implants are a viable solution to helping you to regain what you have lost.