A Brief History of Dental Implants

Since the beginning of mankind, significant value has been seen in the presence of a complete set of teeth, for functional or aesthetic reasons. This has driven people all over the world in different time eras to replace missing teeth, leading to the invention and use of dental implants.

Dental implants are now considered as the most advanced solution for missing teeth. They are the only reliable solution that:

  • Restore a patient’s smile and confidence
  • Continue to stimulate the natural bone formation
  • Support surrounding teeth
  • Restore the ability to chew

There is evidence that throughout the history of civilization restoring the function of being able to chew food has driven people to replace missing teeth.

Let’s have a brief look through time:

  • 4000 years ago – ancient China. Carved bamboo pegs were originally used to replace missing teeth.
  • 3000 years ago – ancient Egypt. An Egyptian king had a copper peg placed into his upper jaw bone. This is the first recorded case of a metal replacement tooth being fixed to a jawbone. It is not certain if the peg was attached during his lifetime as a tooth replacement or after his death.
  • During archaeological excavations a 2300 years old iron tooth was found among real teeth in a Celtic grave in France. The experts believe they were fitted to improve the smile post-death.
  • Ancient people often tried to replace lost teeth with animal ones, or teeth from other people. But then the risk of infection and implant rejection is higher.
  • Ancient skulls dating from roughly 1350 years ago have been discovered where teeth have been replaced by many different types of material – from seashells to jade. In some cases, the replacement tooth has even fused with the jawbone. In 1931 during the excavation of Mayan ruins in Honduras had been found a jaw with three carved, tooth-shaped shells in the lower jaw of a woman’s remains. The interesting is that the bone structure around the shell showed signs of regeneration.
  • In the 18th century, researchers began to experiment using gold and alloys to make dental implants. These experiments often had poor results.
  • In 1952, an orthopedic surgeon unintentionally discovered the special properties that give a high success rate of osseointegration of titanium. He was unable to remove a titanium cylinder he had placed in a rabbit femur during a study of bone healing and regeneration. The bone had grown in such close proximity to the titanium cylinder that it had fused together. In 1965, Branemark, the first titanium dental implant was placed into a live human volunteer.

This success led to significant improvement in the techniques used for tooth replacement.

AllDental Travel and the teams at our clinics provide an array of treatments designed to improve your oral health and replace missing teeth. To schedule an appointment email info@alldentaltravel.com or call +44 7883 173201.

Schedule your FREE consultation for affordable dental implants today.