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How Have Dental Implants Changed Over Time
Since man first walked in the earth, there has been a huge focus on having a complete set of teeth. This has usually been for aesthetic and functional purposes. It has driven people globally in different periods to replace missing teeth. Here is a brief history of how implants have improved and changed over the years that we at Vita Dental Spring have prepared.
As early as 2000BC, there were some primitive dental implants being used by people in ancient China. They would utilize curved bamboo pegs to replace their missing teeth. The first record of metal implants was found on an Egyptian mummy. He is estimated to have lived around 1000 BC. On his upper jawbone, researchers found a copper peg, which was hammered into his jaw. However, it is not known whether the peg was attached during his life or as a replacement after he died.
In France, archeologists have found Celtic graves where false tooth made of iron was found. It was estimated to have come from 300 BC. However, most experts now believe it was hammered in after death for aesthetics. Besides that, trying such a feat during the life of the king would have been excruciating.
Use of Animal Teeth
In ancient times, people would also commonly use animal teeth or teeth from other people. If an implant comes from an animal or another person, there is a high risk of infection. Because of that, human teeth are no longer accepted or used anywhere as a replacement for missing teeth. In recent time, using seashells was also quite common.
Modern Dental Technology
It is only in the last few centuries that the modern dental implants have begun to be used. Besides that, the technology used to make these implants has also come a long way. In the eighteenth century, researchers began experimenting with gold and other alloys to make implants. However, they were not very successful and often fell out. In 1886, a porcelain crown was mounted on a platinum disc. However, the results proved unreliable over the long term.
The main issue that dogged experts was the rejection of foreign materials used to create the dental implants. For an implant to be successful there was a need for the foreign object and the bone to fuse. This is commonly called Osseointegration in modern science.
The Titanium Revolution
In 1952, a dental expert stumbled upon a particular material that had the properties dentists had been looking for. He found that a titanium cylinder has fused to the femur of a rabbit. This occurred during a study on bone regeneration and healing. When he tried to pull it out, he found that the bone had become one with the rod.
He developed a hypothesis that this property could be utilized in other fields like those of dental implants. In 1965, a volunteer was found who was given the first titanium implant. The surgeon who did it was called Branemark. When the man later died, his implant was still intact and had not given him any issues.
Soon after that, major improvements were made to the technology. It led to the development of titanium alloy screws that could be used to replace teeth. Today, most screws have a rough surface that ensures there is more surface area for Osseointegration. The screw is left in the jaw after it heals; a crown is attached to the screw. While the crown will wear out, the screw will remain for life.
The Present and Future
Right now, titanium alloy dental implants are the best tooth replacement option known by experts at Vita Dental Spring and elsewhere. However, various improvements are still being made. While 97% of people who get these implants enjoy total success, there are those in whom they fail.
For instance, we at Vita Dental Spring have an alternative for those with an allergy to titanium. Although this is a small minority, it is still an issue that will need to be solved. There have been minor improvements made to titanium ally implants to ensure that as many people can get them. For instance:
- All on four
The all on four dental implants are an improvement made to titanium implant technology. Four implants are placed into the jaw at angles. As a result, it ensures there is more bone material on which the implants can fuse. This slight but important improvement has meant that even patients with reduced bone mass can get implants. This way, they do not have to deal with dentures all their lives.
Dental implants are the only known technology that supports other teeth and ensures the stimulation of the growth of jawbone. They do not just restore the smile but ensure the face does not lose shape. While this technology is still a bit costly, insurers are beginning to realize their value. We at Vita Dental Spring can help you enjoy its life-long benefits. Pay us a visit today.
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