A dental implant is a surgical component that is inserted into the jaw bone to act as a root of a tooth. It then supports dental objects like crowns, bridges or dentures. Inserting dental implants is a very common outpatient surgery that should be discussed with your dentist. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the dental implant.
Ancient Dental Implants
Archeologists have found evidence of dental implants for thousands of years. In China, remains dating back over 4,000 years ago were found of a human skull with bamboo pegs tapped into the jaw bone, assumed to of been used to replace missing teeth. Similar remains were found in Egypt with precious metals in place of teeth. Although there is no direct proof that these discoveries point to function over aesthetics, a discovery in ancient Mayan territory does just that. In 1931 the bones of a Mayan woman were found with shaped shells implanted in her jaw where three incisors should have been. Bone growth around that area showed that were used as functional teeth.
Modern Dental Implants
Dentists began using dental implants on the general public in the 1950’s, and there have been many advancements in dental technology in the decades that followed. Today, implants typically consist of a screw made from titanium that is formed in the shape of a natural tooth root and is surgically placed in the jawbone. As the site heals, the bone grows around the implant and holds it in place which allows the implant to act as a tooth root.
If you are considering getting dental implants, it’s important to go over everything with your dentist before making a final decision. For any questions and concerns contact Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts today for an appointment with either Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller to find out if dental implants are right for you.