Dental implants are the one tooth replacement option that acts just like your real teeth in every way. There is not a more stable or longer-lasting option. Get to know the story behind dental implants today, and find out why they can be incredibly effective for your missing teeth.
The Story Behind Dental Implants
With dental implants, the roots of the idea seem to stretch back into legend, but the breakthrough that really makes them what they are today is relatively recent.
Where They Came From – Dental implants are considered by some to be a new approach to replacing lost teeth. If they mean the current form, then they would be right. But the idea behind dental implants – that the best course of treatment lies in filling the void left by the lost tooth with another tooth-like replacement – goes all the way back to the ancient Mayan civilization. The first evidence that we have of dental implants being used effectively comes from 600 AD. The ancient Mayans would use seashells and minerals as replacements for lost teeth. They would insert these into the jaw of the person, and the person’s body would even attempt to integrate the object into the bone structure. This was not very effective, but it does tell us that our bodies are interested in finding a permanent solution to the problem of lost teeth.
The Mistake That Changed Everything – In 1952, the world of dental implants was about to change … and no one had any idea. That was because the breakthrough that leads directly to the effectiveness of dental implants was an accidental discovery by an orthopedic surgeon who was not even looking at dental implants. In fact, he was studying how blood flows in the bones of rabbits. To get the data he needed, he placed titanium cylinders into the leg bones of the rabbits. Later, when he went to remove the cylinders, he found that they had bonded with the bone. This was not a light bond, either. The cylinders had completely bonded to the bone, and this is the happy accident that gives us the dental implants we have today. This bonding process is called osseointegration, and it is a special ability that only titanium has. It is the single biggest reason that dental implants are so effective and last as long as they do.
The orthopedic surgeon placed his first pair of titanium dental implants into a patient in 1965. These implants healed completely within six months and lasted that patient for 40 years.
Where They Are Today – Today’s dental implants have changed in size (mini dental implants, traditional implants, and wide-body dental implants), and the way we use them varies widely (All-on-4, All-on-6, implant-supported restorations). But the reason behind their level of effectiveness remains the same: Your body wants to replace a lost tooth with something, and titanium is the perfect option for it. Dental implants can give you a replacement option that mimics your tooth in almost every way, and maybe even surpasses them in others.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Now that you know where they came from, take a minute and get to know the special benefits of this tooth replacement option.
Stability – We have devoted a good portion of this article to telling you about osseointegration, but what does that actually mean? Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that anchor your dental restoration securely inside your mouth. This restoration can be a single tooth (dental crown) all the way to a whole dental arch (dental bridge or dentures). Regardless of the quantity, your dental implants will hold those restorations in place securely because of osseointegration. The dental implant actually becomes part of the bone structure, not just a metal addition to it.
Bone Protection – Your jaw is in danger of deteriorating when you lose a tooth. This is because your natural teeth play a very important role in supporting and protecting your bone structure. Dental implants take the place of those natural teeth and their roots and support your dental bone in the same fashion.
Nothing Lasts Longer – The first pair of dental implants crafted using the knowledge of osseointegration lasted for 40 years. With all that we have learned regarding dental implant dentistry since 1965, there is every reason to believe that your dental implant restorations will last you for the rest of your life.
Call our Lake Worth, FL office today at 561-877-3673 to schedule your appointment and discover how implants can help you. You can also use our online form to schedule your appointment.