Dental implants have become a ubiquitous part of the dental landscape, continually increasing in popularity over the past 15 years or so. People think this relatively recent success means that implants are a new thing, but dental implants in one form or another have been around quite awhile.
Since Drs. Brown and Vaughn work with implants on a daily basis; we thought some in-depth background on our preferred method for replacing teeth would be interesting to our patients.
When were dental implants invented?
Just the fact that a titanium base anchors dental implants makes them seem modern. But the reality is that humans have never wanted to go around with gaps in their teeth. And they’ve tried different ways of replacing them. Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. Who wouldn’t want a cochina shell sitting in there between their natural teeth? We could just walk over to Satellite Beach to get all we need!
The modern implant can be traced back to 1952. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was studying bone healing and regeneration. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.
For our Melbourne patients, we believe dental implants are the best solution to replace a missing tooth, whether it is a tooth that is already gone or a tooth that is so badly damaged or decayed that it requires extraction.
Many people are missing a single tooth or a couple of teeth, and they opt not to replace them, whether due to the perceived cost or a possible fear of the procedure. But that’s a bad idea, as the teeth on each side of the missing tooth or teeth tend to slide over into the gap once the pressure of adjacent teeth holding them in place is gone. This can create havoc with the alignment of your teeth and with your overall bite. Replacing a missing tooth with an implant isn’t a difficult procedure, and the implant will likely last for the rest of your life.
Fun facts about dental implants
In your ongoing pursuit to become an expert at dental implants, here are some facts about missing teeth and implants:
- An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
- 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
- Dental implants are a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
- Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
- Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures. This works especially well for patients who have lost all or most of their teeth.
- Implants now have a 98% success rate.
We’re big fans of dental implants (as you could ascertain from our office name) at Implant Dentistry of Florida. If you’re missing a tooth or teeth, come in and see us and learn how our extensive experience with dental implants can help your smile. Call us at 321-259-9429 to make your appointment.