A Brief History of Tooth Implants
We tend to think of tooth implants as a modern marvel, and in their current form, they are. But what many people don’t realize is that the idea behind tooth implants has been around for centuries. In fact, the very first dental implant is attributed to the Mayans and dates back to 600 AD. It only took us 1,400 years to develop a tooth replacement of a similar kind!
The most notable dental implant discovery came in 1931, when an archeologist in Honduras found the mandible of a Mayan woman thought to be in her twenties. The mandible contained three tooth-shaped seashells inserted into the sockets that once held teeth. At first, scientists believed the shells were inserted post mortem, but in 1970, a curious dental academic discovered that bone had grown around the seashells, meaning they served as tooth replacements while the woman was alive.
Dental tooth implants weren’t exclusive to South and Central America, though. Ancient Egyptian mummies have been unearthed with gold wires implanted in their jawbones. In the Middle East, skeletons have been found with ivory tooth implants. Most recently, anthropologists discovered an iron dental implant in the jawbone of a Roman soldier.
The father of the modern dental implant, Swedish orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark, made his dental implant discovery in the mid 1960’s. While researching bone healing, he discovered that bone tissue would fuse to the metal titanium in a process called osseointegration. Over the next several years, he performed experiments and published studies, eventually commercializing tooth implants in 1978. Today, millions of tooth implants have been placed under his name, and even more dental implant companies have used his patent.
It’s hard to believe that tooth implants in their modern form have only been around for just over 40 years. But with thousands of years in the making, it’s no wonder they have maintained a 95-98% success rate, making them popular with dentists and patients alike.
Whether you’re missing one tooth or several, Dr. Blair can help you regain total confidence with modern dental implant solutions. Contact our Fort Worth dental office today and schedule your personal consultation to learn if dental implants are right for you. Please use the phone number above or the form at the right of this page. Voted Best Dentist in Fort Worth Magazine, Dr. Blair serves patients from Fort Worth and the surrounding areas.