The crazy history of dental implants

Dental implants have been on a whirlwind journey of discovery and improvement to reach the reliable tooth replacement treatment they are in this modern day. They’ve been on an interestingly rocky road to refinement, but that road has led to some great discoveries that have made replacing missing teeth comparatively more easy, comfortable, and reliable. Read on to discover when the first dental implant dates back to, and other shocking tooth replacement methods throughout history.

The first ever recorded dental implants

Archaeologists excavating a Mayan burial site in 1931 discovered the first ever recorded dental implants in the jawbone of a young female skill. They estimated that the dental implants discovered here dated back to the year 600AD – that was around 1,300 years ago! The female jawbone discovered was found to have pieces of shell and stone embedded in the tooth sockets in place of her natural teeth. At first it was assumed they were placed there for cosmetic burial reasons, but further examinations in 1970 found they’d been placed during life as the jawbone had compacted around the material. This was perhaps the first indication that the jawbone could accept and bond with an artificial tooth root if the tooth was lost.

Dental implants from ancient civilisations around the world

Before dental implants in Coventry were the reliable treatment method they are today, they were tried and tested by ancient civilisations with varying degrees of success. The Ancient Chinese, for example, used shards of bamboo to replace missing teeth so that they may chew and bite unencumbered. This was probably rather painful and caused splinters, but they were concerned with form and not the aesthetics of replacing missing teeth. The Ancient Egyptians, on the other hand, were more focussed on restoring the cosmetic look of missing teeth rather than addressing function. They replaced missing teeth with tooth implants made of precious stones, gems, and sometimes other human teeth secured by gold wires. They did this after death, though, not during life, as they believed that only a full or complete body would allow the deceased’s soul to pass through the afterlife.

Modern dental implants

Modern dental implants now use a titanium root (instead of a rock or shell…) to secure the tooth implant in the jawbone. This is because in 1952 Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark discovered that the metal invited the bone to heal around it and fuse with it, making it biocompatible. He discovered this when he placed a titanium screw in a bone that he could later not remove because it was stuck fast. After many months and years of publishing studies and further research on this phenomenon, the modern dental implant we still use to this day was born.

Dental implants in Coventry

If you’re considering replacing missing teeth, be they single or multiple, with dental implants in Coventry then get in touch with Coventry Road Dental Care. We’ll arrange with you your initial consultation and discuss your suitability for treatment with us. Call us on 02476 312256 to find out more.

Sign up to our newsletter & receive our latest news, health tips, clinic information and more