A dental implant is a very small titanium cylinder which is placed into the jaw bone by a dentist trained in this technique. As the bone heals, the implant fuses solidly into the bone, thus mimicking a tooth root. A post is then inserted into the implant, usually to hold an artificial tooth.
It looks, functions, and feels like “the real thing” when used to replace a tooth that is lost from trauma, decay, or gum disease, or is congenitally missing. Dental implants are also used to hold dentures securely in place, dramatically increasing functionality and comfort.
This type of restoration is as close to a natural tooth as modern dentistry has to offer. But its history has long roots:
- 3500 B.C.
Researchers have found implants made of gold wire in the mouths of Egyptian mummies.
- Dating as far back as 1000 B.C.
In 1931 the mandible of a Mayan woman was found in Honduras with tooth-shaped seashells grown into the bone.
- Rome around 753 B.C.
Archeologists in Europe recently uncovered the skeleton of a Roman soldier with a dental implant made of iron in his jaw bone.
- 5th to 15th century
Ivory implants were used in Middle Eastern cultures during the middle ages.
- Prior to 1492
Remains of pre-Columbian man have been found with implants crafted of semi-precious stones.
In the mid 1960’s in Sweden, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, an orthopedic surgeon, discovered “osseointegration” – that bone would fuse to metal during healing, and the concept was applied to dentistry. After a great deal of additional testing and development, dental implants became available commercially in 1978 – about the same time Dr. Frank Rosner graduated from the University of Detroit School of Dentistry!
Compared to very common dental procedures like fillings and root canals, implants may sound a bit new and unfamiliar. But bear in mind that this technology has been in progress for thousands of years, resulting in a success rate today in the high nineties!
With the Doctors of LaserDentalAssociates.com extensive training and experience in dental implantology, and in the care of the compassionate, professional staff at LaserDentalAssociates.com, you can feel confident that your new dental implant will last a lifetime, with good oral hygiene.