History of Dental Implants

By John Rink DDS on January 08, 2019

Three dental implants on plain blue surfaceDental implants are a safe and effective treatment method for replacing missing teeth, preventing bone loss, and maintaining a healthy smile.

At Charleston Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, Dr. John Rink places dental implants, but the methods and materials we use today have improved drastically from the ancient treatments that began over four thousand years ago.

Want to learn more about the history of dental implants? Read on, and then contact our Charleston, SC practice to schedule your consultation with us.

Early Treatment Methods

Archeological evidence shows that early civilizations have been attempting to replace missing teeth for more than four thousand years. People had little to no dental hygiene or care; as a result, losing teeth to decay or infection would have been quite common.

In China, researchers have found the remains of people with bamboo pegs in their mouths; this is the first observation of early dental implants.

Ancient Egyptians also used a similar tooth restoration technique using gold and other metals. The Egyptians’ earliest implants even utilized a type of crown created from ivory or other teeth.

In Honduras, biological explorers discovered the skeleton of a Mayan woman who had three pieces of seashell, carved into the shape of teeth, embedded in her lower jaw. The remains showed evidence that the seashell implants had fused to the jawbone. While rudimentary, the implants probably would have been fairly stable enough for careful chewing.

The Journey to Modern Implants

In the early 20th century, our modern dentistry practices began taking shape.

In 1913, the earliest form of the modern implant was created. Known as “Greenfield’s implant,” the platinum alloy piece attached to a solid gold dental crown, and worked successfully for a short time.

In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, titanium, the material used in most of today’s dental implants, was being tested. A group of researchers noticed and studied the biological process of osseointegration.

An important part of the healing process, osseointegration is when bone tissues develop and grow around an object that has been placed inside the bone. Titanium, with its low density, superior strength, and resistance to corrosion, is able to integrate with bone tissues extremely well, much better than other common metals and alloys.  

Soon afterwards, dentists began placing titanium implants into the jaw. Ever since, the use of titanium implants has grown and improved.  

Safe and Effective Treatment Today

The titanium implants used by Dr. Rink and other modern dentists are safe and offer permanent tooth restoration after tooth loss or extraction.

Research shows that up to 95 percent of dental implant treatments are successful. This is most likely due to the amount of research and study behind the technique, as well as the amount of training dentists and dental specialists must undergo.

Contact Our Practice

If you need dental implant treatment, consider our practice. Dr. Rink is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry so you can have peace of mind that your dental implant and restorative treatments will look natural and help improve the appearance of your smile. Reach a member of our staff to schedule your consultation at (843) 766-1132.

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