It seems like for almost as long as people have been losing teeth, people have been trying to fix the problem. Do you remember being told that George Washington, our first President, had wooden teeth? Although the wooden teeth are a myth, President Washington did have poor dental hygiene and he experimented with an early type of dental implants, dental transplants made of ivory, human teeth, and metal fasteners. Believe it or not, that isn’t even the earliest example of dental implants.
Early Evidence of Dental Implants
Archeologists have discovered evidence of early dental implants dating back as far as 600 A.D. Ancient Mayans were discovered with seashells and carved stones embedded in their jaws. Thankfully, we’ve come very far since those days. Even in the past fifty years we have made leaps and bounds in the evolution of dental implants, thanks to ingenuity and modern technology.
The Osseointegration Breakthrough
The 1930’s led to a major breakthrough. Brothers and dentists, Drs. Alvin and Moses Strock discovered the best way to ensure that the body accepts the foreign material and reduce the risk of infection is to place the implants into the bone. This discovery, termed osseointegration, was the major step forward in modern dental implants. Osseointegration literally means ‘bone’ (osseo) ‘fusion’ (integration) and leads to the combining a biocompatible material with living bone.
Titanium came on to the dental implant scene in the 1950’s and revolutionized the science of dental implants. Titanium posts fuse directly with bone, creating a strong foundation for replacement teeth (mimicking the natural teeth root) that allows the crowns to be placed over them. This makes dental implants as close to natural teeth as you can get.
Advancements in Imaging
Since the advent of titanium for dental implants, improved imaging technology and software have led to further advancements. Dr. Tin at Villa Vista Dental takes pride in staying on the leading edge of all these developments. For example, thanks to new innovations in dental implants, Dr. Tin can stabilize loose dentures with mini implants in one day, replacing an entire row of teeth so that you can go home and use them to enjoy your dinner that very night!
Check out our implant page to read more and watch videos to learn more! If you’re missing teeth or struggling with ill-fitting dentures, dental implants could be your answer to give you the ability to eat, speak, and laugh with confidence again.
Email us or call our office today to schedule a consultation!