The History of Implants

By March 27, 2019Dentist

dental implant historyWhat is the history of implants? This is a question that we tend to hear every once in a while. The fact that you are here on means that you probably have a rudimentary idea of what implants are. You might even be an expert doing some intense research trying to find the best place to trust with your smile. Whether you are the novice trying to figure the whole dental implant scene out or the seasoned consumer who has been tracking down the right place, you are in the right place right now.

The first known placement of a dental implant dates back to about 600 AD, when a tooth like piece of a shell was hammered into the jaw of a Mayan woman. That’s right 600 AD. Dentistry as a practice dates back 7000 BC, so by 600 AD ancient dentists were feeling pretty confident in their trade. These Mayan dental professionals were skilled in their placement of these implants; and modern-day scans of Mayan mandibles show that these ancient practitioners knew what they were doing, and they acted and performed similar to what modern-day practitioners would call a blade implant. A couple of centuries later in what is now known as Honduras, they were placing carved stone implants.

In Europe between the 1500’s to the 1800’s teeth were “harvested” from the poor population or the dead and transplanted into the mouth of the higher class (I guess that they figured if you were poor or dead that you didn’t need them anyway).

Flash forward to the early 1900’s and Dr’s were doing a lot of research and testing with implants. From the use of gold to Vitallium to differentiation of design to cause a better bond and hold these doctors were pioneering a whole new industry. Real progress occurred when Dr. Formiggini (known as the father of modern implantology) and Dr. Zepponi invented a new type of implant that allowed bone to grow into the implant in the 1940’s.

Now we arrive in the early 1950’s and dental implants started becoming a real thing. In 1952 a Swedish Orthopedic surgeon by the name of Dr. P. Brånemark discovered that titanium would natural fuse with bone and turned his focus to the mouth. The time period of the 1940’s through the 1950’s was an explosive period for implantology. New methods and research were coming out at a relatively rapid pace. It was literally the golden age of dental implant technology and methodology.

The 1960’s through the 1970’s was an innovative hailstorm for plants. Borrowing from the rise in research and innovation of the previous decade, doctors were feverishly expanding on what was known and seeking for more innovative ways and permanent ways of making implants viable.

In 1978 Dr. P. Brånemark discovery from 1952 really gained notice when his discovery of titanium’s tendency to fuse with bone proved to be a long-term solution as his first patient’s implant lasted 40 years. Doctors ran with this breakthrough over the next decade and modern dental implant techniques and instruments were developed.

Since that time implants have gained in popularity and have become more commonplace, to where we have over 3,000,000 people in the United States who have been fitted with dental implants and that number grows at a rate of about 500,000 per year. People from all walks of life and circumstances are driven to find peace in their smiles. Those who have experienced this life changing procedure are truly happy to be able to have a smile that they can be proud of. Hopefully you can appreciate the history of implants. A lot has transpired in the span of a few thousand years. Technology has advanced and techniques have improved, but one thing that will never change, and that is the joy it gives people to be able to smile and eat the foods that they love.

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