Although most people assume that dental implants are a modern invention, the fact of the matter is that implants have been around, in some form, for thousands of years. Skeletal remains from ancient China, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas have been discovered with dental implants crafted from carved wood, bamboo, steel, and even seashells. In the early 1800s, some doctors and dentists were even experimenting with dental implants made from the actual teeth of animals, of the dead, or of poor people who were willing to sell theirs.
Unfortunately, these ancient dental implants were prone to infections, full-on rejections, and even falling out all together—since it would be almost impossible for those early foreign objects to integrate with the patients’ natural bone tissue. Fortunately, an osteopaedic surgeon was experimenting with bone healing in 1952, and he found a solution to this problem.
Per-Ingvar Brånemark was studying healing and blood flow patterns in rabbits, and he inserted a series of titanium bars through a rabbit’s leg to see how the animal would heal. To his surprise, he was not able to remove the bars when the time came to study the healing, and he realized that the titanium had fused with the bone. Brånemark realized that he could apply this new technology to help dental patients, and he installed dental implants in his first patient in 1965.
Advances in Modern Dental Implants
Although dental implant materials and procedures are similar to the methods used by early dental implant pioneers like Per-Ingvar Brånemark, today’s dental implants are much more advanced than the versions used forty years ago. Today’s dental implants are made with:
Implant Posts Designed to Integrate Easily With Bone
To improve the surface area of the titanium implant posts, new posts have a slightly roughened texture that speeds healing and improves stability.
Modern abutments, the connecting piece between the post and crown of an implant, are more discreet, easier to handle, and sturdier than older varieties.
Incredibly Realistic Crowns
These days, patients have the option of choosing from several different kinds of dental crowns, each designed to look as natural and beautiful as possible. Full porcelain varieties mimic the look of natural teeth so perfectly that they are virtually impossible to detect with the naked eye.
If you are interested in dental implants in Ballwin MO, contact our office today. Kevin Postol DDS is currently accepting new patients, and he would love the chance to talk with you about how dental implants could improve your smile.