Dental implants have become pretty commonplace in the last decade or two. Due to this relatively new attention, people think implants are a new thing. Truth be told, implants were first introduced to modern dentistry over 50 years ago.
Actually, they’ve been around far longer than that; you just wouldn’t call those early versions very “modern.” In ancient archeological digs, skeltons have been found with implanted seashells and ivory in place of missing teeth. Let’s just say Dr. Brown and Dr. Vaughn aren’t thinking of using cochina shells to replace a missing tooth any time soon.
But we do love dental implants — just look at the name of our practice! We think they are the best option for patients needing to replace a tooth or two, or as anchors for full or partial dentures. So, here’s how we came upon this most successful dental prosthetic, the dental implant.
In the beginning
You can pinpoint 1952 as the year that the true modern implant came on the scene. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was conducting a study of 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.
When a patient is missing a tooth or teeth, at Implant Dentistry of Florida we believe dental implants are far and away the best solution. They return the best functionality to the patient and allow freedom to enjoy an unlimited diet again. This is because, once in place, a dental implant functions basically like a natural tooth.
Many people are tempted to not replace a missing tooth or a couple of teeth, either due to the cost or to avoid the hassle. But this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Of course, there is the cosmetic aspect of a smile missing a tooth or two. But there is a bite problem, as well. Teeth are kept in place by pressure from the adjacent teeth. When a tooth is extracted or lost, the teeth on each side of the new gap tend to slide over into the gap because they no longer have pressure from the tooth on their one side. This can create real problems with your bite and the spacing of your teeth.
Facts about missing teeth and implants
Dr. Brown and Dr. Vaughn are big fans of dental implants. What’s your dental implant IQ? See if you know these facts about implants.
- 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
- An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
- Dental implants are basically 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.
- Implants now have a 98% success rate.
Are you missing a tooth or two? Let’s fill the gap with a dental implant. Call us at Implant Dentistry of Florida, (321) 372-7700, to make an appointment.