From Wire To Printer: The History Of Your Dental Implant

The noble profession of a dentist has been around for a lot longer than you may imagine – it can trace its roots all the way back to Italy some 14,000 years ago, and was present in Indus Valley civilizations dating back to about 7,000 B.C. Even knowing about primitive dentistry may not make the idea of a more modern-seeming procedure such as getting a dental implant seem any less daunting, as the procedure has had fewer years to be perfected – but is that actually the case? If you're worried about your dental implant standing the test of time and not harming your mouth, then here's what you need to know about the leaps of progress that have been made through time with dental implant technology.

Ancient Civilization

Though ancient civilizations didn't have implants as they're known today, the beginnings of dental implant technology show up here. Dental bridges are generally thought to be the first implant technology that shows up in the mouths of ancient peoples; Egyptian dentists created gold tooth bridges – wires surrounding a gap where a tooth used to be, with a metal false tooth where the gap would be – in order to replace old or rotten teeth that had fallen out. For those who found the gold replacement tooth to be a little expensive, there was a more common option: drilling a few small holes in the tooth that fell out and threading the gold wire through them, creating a smile with all teeth present, if not totally intact.

Historical Advances

As time went on, however, dental implant technology slowly began to progress forward, creating implants out of carved bone, animal teeth, and (in the Egyptian fashion) precious metals like gold or silver. At the beginning of the 20th Century, a system for creating implants that would stay firmly in the jawbone was created (the Greenfield system, to be specific). At the middle of the century, Gottlieb Leventhal experimented on rabbits in order to make the discover that as far as metal integrating itself in the jawbone went, titanium was by far the superior metal to any other alternative.

Modern Day

Though all modern implants are based in part (and owe a lot to) Leventhal's titanium discovery, dental implant technology has continued to progress through the first few decades of the 21st Century. Plaster models and acrylic molds of the patient's mouth are no match when it comes to accuracy for X-rays and 3D printed implants shaped perfectly to your bone, gums, and surrounding teeth. Failure of the implant to integrate into your mouth is also at an all-time low, with rates ranging from a measly 6% all the way down to 1% of implants fitted. So if you're feeling a little wary at the prospect of your upcoming dental implant, remember that thousands upon thousands of years of dentistry around the globe have led to the tiny technological marvel that will keep your smile whole and beautiful – no gold wire required.

To learn more, contact a company like Smile City