Dental Implants – Their History And Evolution

After years of studies and experiments, the first titanium dental implant was successfully placed into a human volunteer in 1965. Today, implants are more sophisticated and biocompatible than ever, with a very low rate of rejection.

Implants: A historical overview

Archaeological evidence has found that humans have been attempting to replace missing teeth with root form implants for thousands of years. Remains in ancient China were found to have carved bamboo pegs taped into the bone to replace the lost teeth.

The main problem with successful long-term implants was the body’s rejection of a foreign object. The replacement tooth and bone needed to fuse together through a process known as ‘osseointegration’ for the implant to be successful. Modern implants began with the work of an orthopaedic surgeon in the 1950s, who discovered that a titanium cylinder had fused with the femur bone of a rabbit during a study on bone regeneration. Hypothesising that this could be utilised in other fields, scientists began working on implant technology. The first titanium dental implant was successfully placed by Swedish orthopaedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Branemark in 1965. Today, implants are considered to be the most advanced solution available for missing teeth with long-term success rates of up to 97% in some practices.

Important dates in the history of dental implants:

1943: First anaesthesia dental surgery.

1896: First dental X-Ray.

1952: First titanium implant experiment.

In 2019, implants are accessible to more patients than ever. With the availability of supporting treatments such as bone grafting and sinus lifts, even if a patient is not eligible for implants they can often undergo such treatment to prepare them for the process.

What are the benefits of modern dental implants?

Because dental implants fuse with the jawbone, they become a permanent part of your body. As opposed to removable solutions such as dentures, implants help to preserve the jawbone by mimicking the behaviour of natural teeth. Jawbone preservation is instrumental in maintaining a healthy facial aesthetic and helps to avoid bite collapse. Dental implants do not require any special care; you can look after them in the same way you would a real tooth. If you have a speech impediment due to a missing tooth, this will likely improve once our restoration has been placed. Dental implants are created in the image of your smile – the restoration will be a crown or a bridge that matches the shade and shape of your teeth.

If you would like more information about implant treatment at Corner House Dental, please do not hesitate to contact us.