The Evolution of Dental Implants
Dental implant surgery is an effective treatment for replacing missing teeth. Unlike dentures, this type of dental surgery replaces the root of the tooth with metal and posts. Over the past few years, this restorative dentistry practice has advanced rapidly. It now helps patients get their confidence back with healthy-looking teeth.
While dental implants may seem like a modern treatment for tooth loss, surprisingly, it has a history that dates back thousands of years.
Take a look at how this tooth replacement surgery evolved below:
The history of dental implants
According to archaeologists, some of the first dental implants were found in Chinese civilizations dating back to 2000 BC. In this instance, carved bamboo pegs appeared to be used for replacing missing teeth.
In 1000 BC, the first recorded metal dental implant was found in the jaw of an Egyptian king. This artifact showed a copper peg hammered into the jawline. However, it is not known whether this was performed during his lifetime or after death. That said, it was a significant finding as it was the first use of a metal implant in history.
Another find from 300 BC also highlighted the use of metal in dental implants. In this case, archaeologists found an iron false tooth in a Celtic grave in France. However, it is suggested that this replacement tooth would have been placed after death as the process of implanting while alive would have been very painful.
Throughout the years, dental implants have been found in numerous archaeological digs. In addition, many types of false teeth were unearthed, including materials such as jade. But, it wasn’t until the 18th century where other metals such as gold and alloy were considered for use. However, like many before, these solutions did not prove successful for patients.
The use of modern titanium dental implants was discovered by accident by an orthopedic surgeon. While carrying out a procedure on a rabbit, it was found that this metal naturally fuses to the bone. With this knowledge, the first successful dental implant was completed in 1965.
As you can see, the history of dental implants is extensive. This surgery continues to innovate with new materials and techniques with modern advancements. As a result, this procedure’s success rates are high, and it’s an ideal treatment to improve oral health.
Modern dental implant surgery
Modern dental implant procedures are popular for people experiencing tooth loss and oral health issues. The process is straightforward, and success rates are good for most patients.
Specially trained professionals carry out this treatment, so you know you’re in good hands. The process can take several weeks and months for initial treatment, and then aftercare is administered to ensure a successful outcome.
The main aspects of dental implant surgery include:
- A tooth root implant made of titanium is placed into the missing tooth socket
- The jawbone then starts to heal around it. This can take around 6-12 weeks.
- When the titanium implant is bonded, it is connected by a post called an abutment to hold the tooth in place.
- A mold of your bite is then taken to get the shape and fit for your new tooth.
- Once created, it is attached to the abutment.
The replacement tooth is matched to your existing teeth during this process, so it looks and feels authentic.
Why dental implants are done
According to statistics, around 156 million Americans are missing one tooth, and approximately 36 million don’t have any teeth at all. These figures are staggering, and some of the root causes of tooth or bone loss in the US include:
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay and cavities
- Injury or trauma
- Orthodontic issues
- Lifestyle and diet
- Chronic diseases and health issues such as diabetes
There are many reasons why Ashville dental implants are done, and many go beyond just replacing a tooth.
Some of the main reasons include:
Improved appearance and self-esteem
Tooth loss can affect confidence and self-esteem. We often take for granted that having healthy teeth and a bright white smile gives us a boost. Still, for those experiencing oral health issues, it’s a very different situation. Dental implants can bring back this confidence as you have a false tooth that looks and feels like a natural tooth.
Improved comfort and eating
False teeth and dentures can become uncomfortable and are not a great long-term solution for replacing teeth. This can also make eating more difficult. So with dental implants, you can enjoy food without worry.
It’s often surprising how much dentures and tooth loss affect speech. If you have poorly fitting false teeth, this can cause mumbling and slurring of words if they slip in your mouth. You won’t experience this with implants, and speech goes back to normal.
Supports oral health
Replacing teeth using implants ensures nearby teeth are unaffected. In addition, with a single tooth replacement, you can get between teeth easier with dental brushes and floss, which helps to keep your overall oral health in check.
Implants are durable
Traditional dentures are a short-term solution for tooth loss and do not often provide a hardwearing option. On the other hand, dental implants last many years as long as they are cared for and checked regularly by a dentist.
Implants offer a convenient dental solution
No one wants the stress of cleaning dentures and ensuring they stay fixed in the mouth, so implants are convenient. While the investment is higher and the healing process is longer, the long-term gains benefit patients tenfold.
Can I get dental implants?
While technology and medical practices have evolved over the years, there are still specific suitability requirements for dental implants. We’re here to help assess your need for this surgery and advise on an appropriate treatment plan to give you back your confidence and smile.
If you’d like to discover how this surgery could benefit you or find out more about dental implants in Asheville, NC, contact us today to speak with one of the team.