Missing teeth has been an issue for people since the beginning of humanity. For thousands of years, people have suffered from tooth loss and they’ve attempted to remedy the issue.
Fortunately, modern-day dentistry offers dental implants to effectively replace missing teeth. Dental implants provide a stable, long-lasting solution to missing teeth — an attractive prosthetic tooth that’s fully integrated with your jawbone to create a firm and stable bond.
People have long recognized the importance of dental health because chewing food is crucial to survival. Our ancestors tried to remedy toothlessness by inserting different materials into the jawbone to act as replacement teeth. Unfortunately, because they lacked an understanding of modern chemistry, these ancient dentists were unable to develop long-lasting, functional dental implants like we have today.
It’s fascinating to explore the various materials our ancient ancestors used to fashion dental implants. The Mayans made implants using shells, the ancient Chinese used bamboo pegs, and the Egyptians used ivory.
The discovery of osseointegration, the fusion of a titanium implant fixture to the jawbone, was the key breakthrough that led to the success of modern dental implants. This happened in 1952 when Swedish researcher Dr. Per Brånemark was studying how bones heal in 1952.
Dr. Brånemark noticed that he couldn’t remove a titanium cylinder he placed in the bone of a rabbit. The bone had grown so close to the titanium that it had actually fused with the metal. Up until that discovery, doctors had struggled to find a durable material that wouldn’t be rejected by the body.
Today, dental implants are the ideal solution for replacing one or more missing teeth. Other tooth replacement options like dentures or bridges require a lot of upkeep and they periodically need replacing. Dental implants are a durable solution that look and function like your natural teeth.