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The History of Dental Implants

There is a modern conceit that all forms of medicine that involve surgery or replacement of missing bodily elements, like teeth, are products of advanced medical science. While on the surface this makes a certain amount of sense, it’s important to remember that many of the medical issues we face, especially as pertains to the teeth, are not new. Medical and surgical solutions for dental issues have been around since at least 2000 BCE.

How Did It All Get Started?

The simplest answer here is that it got started because dental pain is incredibly unpleasant, and being unable to eat properly due to missing teeth isn’t fun either. Solutions had to be found for the same conditions we face today, and for many of the same reasons. In ages past, just as today, people were concerned about their appearance both in life and death, so cosmetic dentistry was a consideration as well.

  • Bamboo To Chew – Evidence has been found that the Ancient Chinese were using bamboo pegs to replace missing teeth.
  • A Pharaoh’s Ransom – An Egyptian King was found with a copper peg in his upper jaw, it had apparently been hammered into place 3000 years ago, and stands as the first instance of a metal replacement tooth being affixed to a jawbone.
  • An Ironic Smile – An iron tooth was found pounded into the mouth of a man in a Celtic Grave from 2300 years ago, it is largely believed to have been inserted posthumously.
  • A Pound For A Tooth – Using teeth from animals and the poor was quite popular 2000 years ago, though infection and rejection were quite common. Still, anything for a working smile.
  • Any Tooth Will Do – And many things that weren’t teeth, seashells, wood, and jade were all used as replacements for teeth approximately 1350 years ago. The surprising facet of this was excavated skulls show regeneration in the jawbone, indicating it was accepting the replacement.

When Did Modern Dentistry Start?

What we think of as modern dental practices first starting forming in the 18th century, with the use of porcelain, gold, and various alloys being common for replacements. They often experienced poor results for long-term use, as the body was still rejecting it. The modern use of titanium happened as a result of a happy accident in 1952, where it became apparent that the metal had properties resulting in the metal actually fusing to the bone during the healing process. This has led to titanium being the metal of choice for dental repair work in modern dentistry.

Success Through Education

The Faculty of General Dental Practice has played a large role in the success of dental repair work, as the intense training process ensures that dentists like Bob Dokhanchi, DDS know all the latest techniques to ensure that their dental work is a success. Thousands of years of dental practice have resulted in the ability to maintain a beautiful smile, call today to set foot on the road to your beautiful smile!