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Learn About the Surprising History of Dental Implants

September 17, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drrynar @ 8:05 pm

Dental implant detailIf we told you rabbits are to thanks for today’s most successful tooth replacement method, dental implants, would you believe us? It’s true — the secret ingredient for dental implants’ success was discovered by a physicist who was actually working on a separate study on bone growth in a bunch of bunnies.

Like all good scientific discoveries, this phenomenon that we now know as “osseointegration” was found by accident. Whether you’re missing an entire row of teeth or if you’ve never lost a single pearly white, we know you’ll be interested in the complete story. Keep reading to find out more about the surprising history of dental implants!

The Very First Dental Implants

Tooth loss has long plagued humanity — and humans have been working on fixing it for, well, forever. Mayan skulls dating back to 600 AD bear evidence of some of the very first dental implants. They placed shells and bones into the empty sockets.

These primitive attempts at implant dentistry probably weren’t all that successful (not to mention aesthetics), but some have shown the evidence of the crucial osseointegration — or fusion between bone and implant material. Yes, they were really onto something…

An Accidental Discovery

Dental implants continued gradually advancing with less success over the next several centuries. In the mid-1800s dentists began experimenting with metal and gold alloys. Unfortunately, they found again and again that the body rejected these materials — the implants just didn’t “take.”

In fact, it wasn’t until the middle of the last century that the secret to implant dentistry was cracked. While studying bone regeneration in rabbits, Swedish physician Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark found that titanium accidentally left behind fused together with the bone material.

Applied to implant dentistry, this discovery was critical. It fixed the problem of implants being repeatedly rejected by the body. Using titanium implants, implant dentistry really began to take off — with Dr. Branemark known from then on out as the Father of Implant Dentistry.

Modern Implant Options

In 2017, dental implants have a success rate of more than 98%. There are a number of options available in implant dentistry, including some, like Same Day Smiles, that can be completed in a single day. For eligible candidates, dental implants offer:

  • A natural appearance
  • Improved oral and overall health
  • A long-lasting replacement option
  • Restored ability to eat, speak, and smile

Yes, dental implants have changed a lot over the past several centuries — and the future has never looked brighter for implant dentistry!

About the Author

Dr. James Rynar is a true expert in implant dentistry. He was trained by the father of implant dentistry, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark. He has placed thousands of implants over the past 30 years — with a 10-year success rate exceeding 95%. To learn more about dental implants and whether or not you are a candidate for this replacement option, call your periodontist in Florham Park at (973) 377-3131.

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