Here at Meridian Street Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we specialize in transforming smiles with the amazing properties of dental implants. Part of the obligation to our patients is helping them understand the background of the product and why they work as well as they do. Interestingly enough, many people think that dental implants are a modern day development. However, dental implants have actually been used for thousands of years to replace and repair teeth. What follows is a compilation of historical details about dental implants and how they have come to the stage of development that they are at today.
According to historical accounts, several ancient cultures have been using different materials to replace their missing or damaged teeth for thousands of years. Greeks, Chinese, Romans, and Egyptians have used shell, precious metals, stone, bone, gems, wood, ivory, and other interesting materials to replace their missing digits. Early efforts were often painful and rough, leaving patients with swelling and infection. The end products have varied in their level of success and functionality, but the methods they used have shown some important lessons that have been used in modern day developments.
The first documented use of dental implants can be traced to a young Mayan woman who lived around 600 AD. Many years after her death and burial, archeologists found her body in Honduras. Luckily, her lower jawbone was preserved. This allowed researchers to estimate that she was in her early twenties. She had been buried with what looked to be three tooth-shaped seashells in place of her front teeth. Researchers initially believed that the shell pieces were inserted after the girl died. However, they later determined that there was bone growth around the base of the seashells. This meant that the teeth had likely served as useful tools to eat and smile while the woman was living.
Modern day dental implants have improved significantly due to the foundations of research on titanium by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Brånemark’s most significant discoveries occurred in the 1960’s when he was conducting studies on rabbit ears. During the course of his research, he was studying bone healing rates of titanium pieces that were embedded in the ears of rabbits.
After placing the titanium pieces in multiple rabbit ears, he found that the rabbit’s bone tissues had fused to the metal pieces. He called the process osseointegration and it became the basis for modern day implants. As he continued his research and published further studies, he was able to make many valuable contributions to the study of titanium and how it could be used as a great biocompatible implant part. Brånemark’s research helped commercialized the dental implant process and helped it move to mass production in 1978.
There are many amazing advantages to choosing dental implants for your tooth replacement needs. Patients, who choose natural-looking dental implants can increase their self-esteem, improve their oral health, strengthen their jawbone tissues, increase healthy jaw muscles, and enhance their overall health. Moreover, when your smile is restored, you can once again feel comfortable eating, speaking, and meeting new people.
Are you letting a less-than-perfect smile hold you back from being all that you can be? If so, dental implants from Meridian Street Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery could easily help you get the smile of your dreams in just a few quick office visits. These permanent tooth replacements have quickly become the gold standard for many dentists because of their 95-98% success rate.
If you are looking for a solution to your missing or damaged teeth, now is a great time to learn more about dental implants from Meridian Street Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. If you would like to learn more about the dental implants process or payment options, please check out the rest of our dental implants website or speak to one of our helpful staff members today. Then, when you are ready to get an amazing smile, call our Indianapolis, IN office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bennett.
Dr. Michael Bennett
Fishers Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
9126 Technology Lane, Suite #300
Fishers, IN 46038