The dental implant is among the stalwart procedures of nearly every dental practice. Utilising a composite replacement tooth to take the place of a missing or rotten tooth, it is as reliable and practical a solution as our industry can provide – but it isn’t a new one. Dental implants have been brought to bear in human mouths for several millennia, in a huge variety of different formulations.
The earliest known examples have been found in mummified remains courtesy of excavations in the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. These civilisations used such replacements as were available at the time, which, among the wealthy, included gold and ivory.
Across the pond, in modern-day Mexico, the civilisations here are credited with being the first to utilise an interactive implant, one that actually moulded with the jawbone. These were primary bone or shell fragments inserted in to the void left by a missing or removed molar, and which, in some cases, were adopted by the surrounding bone.
In more recent times, animal and human replacements were found to be suitable replacements. In some areas, the poor sold their existing teeth to the higher classes, in order to earn some money for their families. During periods of war, dead soldiers were often harvested for their teeth. During the Napoleonic Wars, it even become somewhat fashionable on the streets of European cities to be wearing so-called ‘battlefield teeth’.
More recently, acrylic resin and composites have been brought to bear as a replacement tooth. They are held in place in the jawbone by a titanium screw, an innovation that dates from the 1970s, when dental surgeons discovered titanium’s amiable relationship with bone. When inserted in to a bone, the bone continues to grow around the screw, securing it, without causing the same breakdown issues that accompany steel or aluminium screws. This is the process in current use for dentists on the Lower North Shore.
Human innovation and ingenuity have come together over the course of years, and have resulted in our modern procedure with its excellent success rate, and pain-free application. Visit a premier Lower North Shore dentist at Artarmon Dentists, and find out for yourself.