Dental implants are commonly referred to today as the “gold standard” when it comes to tooth replacement. We have been treating tooth loss with dental implants for a number of years in our Humble, TX dental practice, and our patients appreciate how well they restore smiles.
You might be curious about how long dental implants have been around—and you might wonder where it all started. Let’s take a look at the origins of dental implants.
Believe it or not, dental implants in some form or another have been used for thousands of years. Granted, they were not as comfortable or functional as dental implants today, but their existence underscores the importance of a nice-looking smile—something people have recognized for a long time.
The Earliest Days of Dental Implants
In ancient times, the Egyptians tried to stabilize teeth using wire that was made of gold. The Etruscans tried to create replacement teeth using oxen bones. The Phoenicians used ivory as tooth replacements. But the Mayans are credited with the first sign of an actual implant using shells that allowed the bone to form around them.
From the Seventeenth to Twentieth Centuries
As time went on, implant attempts become somewhat more sophisticated, with teeth from the poor or from cadavers being used to replace teeth in live humans. Other materials were also used, including silver, porcelain, and iridium.
Later, two doctors—brothers—tried using orthopedic screws that provided an anchor to support a tooth replacement. Both were recognized for using a biocompatible metal in the implant procedure. Doctors in the early 1900s continued to experiment with implant surgery, with one introducing an endosseous implant with a post.
Scientists continued to experiment throughout the twentieth century, with a threaded titanium implant being developed and tested in 1978.
Dental Implants Today
Patients who replace their missing teeth with dental implants enjoy high success rates. Implant recipients have no food restrictions and caring for implants is not much different than caring for your natural teeth.
If you are missing one or more teeth, talk to our Humble TX practice about how dental implants might be a good tooth replacement option. Call us today!