The History Of Dental Implants

Dental implants Sheffield have become a major player in the development of addressing tooth loss. Unlike many other tooth replacement methods, implants are the only system that works with the body to stimulate the body’s natural bone regeneration process. But where did dental implants begin? And what has led to the development of them? Here’s a look into their varied and sometimes odd history.

What are dental implants?

Implants are false roots with teeth attached especially designed to replicate those of a patient’s natural dentition. They are fixed to the jaw and embedded in the bone to act as a more permanent solution to tooth loss. They are now often made from titanium as this is a metal that works with the human body, as opposed to against it. Lots of modern dental practices offer this fantastic solution to tooth loss, with options to take 3D scans of the mouth to understand the cause of the loss and how best to heal it long term.

Implants in history

Our ancestors were clever, and even as far back as 2000 BC, they were aware of the major implications to health through tooth loss. So they, like us, were looking for ways to reconstruct teeth in the mouth. Archaeologists have found human skulls that have had teeth replaced with natural methods. Some found replacement teeth carved with jade, some stone and some even seashell fragments. All a long way from the types of dental implants we know today.

An excavation in France was shown to find a grave with the remains of an iron false tooth – however, there were serious questions asked about how these implants would have been fitted. There was certainly no anaesthetic back then, so it would have been a pretty painful process. 

Implants in the 1950s

A gentleman called Leonard Linkow was one of the first people to actually fit titanium and other forms of metal in the bone of the jaw. It was then later Professor Branemark who fitted an implant into an actual living patient.

Since this work began it has taken great leaps in its development and can now be categorised into three sections.

The first is the root implant, this is the most common type of dental implant available. These work as they are inserted at the jawbone as a new root.

Another type of implant used when bone in the jaw is not dense enough is the zygoma implant, which is anchored through the cheekbone and is used if there isn’t enough bone present to secure it otherwise.

Thirdly, small diameter implants are implants that are often used for denture holding or orthodontic anchoring.

Implants have come a very long way from their early applications and the methods which are used to help fit them have come a long way too. What we can learn from the long history of implants is that it’s clear throughout history tooth loss has been a serious cause for health concerns. As we move into a world with more of an online presence our need for tooth replacement options that work and are natural looking is just as important as it was 2000 years ago. The implications of tooth loss on our health may be slightly different, but they are just as valid.

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