A hole lot of history
Dental implants have a rich and extensive history spanning thousands of years. One of the earliest discovered examples of dental implants have been found within the skulls of ancient Chinese people dating as far back as 2000BC. These were rudimentary bamboo pegs which were crudely hammered into place within the patient’s jaw, to fill the gaps left by missing teeth. Whilst this may make you wheeze coming from a modern perspective, it is interesting to note that the desire for a full set of teeth – regardless of what they are made of – is nothing new. From the days of ancient China, to the feats of modern engineering we offer at Sheen Dental implants in Richmond, the story of dental implants is one of remarkable design refinement and ingenuity.
Progress marches on
Throughout history, each civilization has made use of the materials and tools available to them to attempt to fill in missing teeth. Ancient Etruscans, around 500BC successfully installed primitive dental implants that were constructed from sea-shells and rare minerals, and ancient romans would often construct dental implants from the bones of animals. Throughout the 18th century, numerous attempts at introducing foreign materials into patients mouths, such as gold and silver were made – almost all of which were unsuccessful. Also around this time, the notion of using human teeth from underprivileged citizens and cadavers was experimented with, which again proved to be largely unsuccessful. Dental implants that resemble those which are recognized today however, didn’t really begin to emerge until the 1950s. This was when an orthopedist first accidentally stumbled over the effects of titanium within biocompatibility, after witnessing a titanium cylinder which had fused within the femur bone of a rabbit. From this, it was hypothesized that the same process could be replicated with humans, and in 1965 the first successful titanium dental implant was installed by an orthopedist named Branemark.
Filing in the gaps
From then on, titanium became the staple for all implants in the future, and since the days of Branemark the process has advanced dramatically. The process of installing dental implants from us here at Sheen Dental Implants, would initially consist of a consultation period between the patent and their chosen, trusted practitioner. This consultation is done to establish the patient’s eligibility for implant treatment, as well as detail to them the positive effect that they can expect the treatment to have on both their oral health and their overall self-esteem should they choose to carry out the treatment. Thereafter, providing the patient feels comfortable and content with the process, the insertion of the implants will begin. This process begins with a little hole being made within the roof of the patient’s jaw, between the gap where their missing tooth or teeth ought to be. Next, a titanium-alloy socket is placed within the hole, and left to heal. As previously mentioned, titanium us utilises for its unique qualities within bone fusion, which is exactly what it does during the short healing period that follows. Finally, a replica tooth constructed from plastic or porcelain, is then fixed into the socket, thus filling the gap with a new tooth which is far sturdier than any conventional bridge or dentures, as it is fused within the bone of the patient, just as a natural tooth would be.