Dental implants have become an essential part of modern dentistry. While there are different variations available today, all dental implants share the same goal, which is to replicate natural teeth function and appearance accurately. However, not many people know about the origins of dental implants. The reality is that dental implants have a long history, starting back in the prehistoric days. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the history of dental implants and understand how they've evolved throughout the years.As mentioned earlier, the roots of dental implants date back to prehistoric times. Anthropologists have found skulls dating back to 600 AD in which tooth-shaped seashells were placed into the jawbone of the deceased. The use of stone implants was also prevalent among various cultures worldwide. For centuries, different cultures utilized bone or wooden pegs as a substitute for missing teeth.
However, it wasn't until the 1700s that the modern story of dental implants commenced. In 1728, French surgeon Pierre Fauchard utilized a metal frame that supported artificial teeth to replace missing teeth. This approach gave rise to the concept of modular prosthesis that evolved throughout the years. In the 1850s, a prominent dental surgeon from Philadelphia, John Hunter, experimented with using dog bones to create an anatomical scaffold, which led to a more advanced and contemporary method of placing dental implants.
The breakthrough came in the mid-20th century when Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark from Sweden discovered the concept of the osseointegration of titanium with bone. In 1952, while conducting an experiment, Per-Ingvar Brånemark discovered that dissimilar metals amalgamated with bone tissue. This groundbreaking discovery was named "osseointegration" and later became the cornerstone of modern dental implants.
The advancements in dentistry, particularly in the field of dental materials, played a crucial role in the evolution of dental implants. Before the advent of biocompatible materials like titanium, dental implants used silver, steel, iridium, or aluminum as an implant material. However, these materials weren't compatible with the human body and caused complications. The use of synthetic polymer hydrogels, bioactive ceramics, and other novel materials added to the effectiveness of dental implants. Dentists could now implant prosthetic teeth securely, and the prosthetic tooth could fuse with the jawbone through osseointegration.
In conclusion, dental implants have come a long way from their primitive origins to a sophisticated form of dental treatment. Today, technological innovations in the field of implantology have facilitated the ability to replace missing teeth accurately and effectively. With the development of cost-effective materials and advanced techniques, dental implants have become more accessible and affordable to patients worldwide. The future of dental implants is exciting, with advancements such as 3D printing, laser technology, and computer-aided design and manufacturing. All these innovations will undoubtedly result in better and more personalised dental implant treatments. Any dental laboratory, dental technician or dentist must keep themselves updated about the evolution of dental implants to provide the best treatment to their patients. It's only through understanding the history of dental implants that we can appreciate how much progress the dental industry has made in this field.