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The History of Dental Implants

Nobel biocare implant diagram at Westlake Oral and Plastic SurgeryAt Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery, we offer dental implants for your tooth replacement needs. Dental implants are a more recent treatment for missing teeth, providing you with an alternative to bridges and dentures. This particular treatment offers numerous benefits over traditional treatments, including a more natural appearance and feel, greater comfort, and ease of care. Implants are also beneficial for their ability to protect the health and integrity of your jawbone. Here is how they came to be.

The Earliest Dental Implants

Dental implants are often assumed to be a modern invention. While it is true that the implants that are used today are the result of modern discovery, the actual truth is that implants have been in use for centuries. The earliest dental implant was discovered in the mandible of a young woman and has been dated to 600 AD. Her implant consisted of bits of seashell and carved bone. Along with the discovery of this ancient implant, those that found her also discovered that her jawbone had begun to fuse to the tooth replacement, demonstrating that it had been placed while she was still alive.

This is only one example of ancient dental implants. Numerous other discoveries have been made. Ancient Egyptian mummies have been found with gold wire in their jaws. Skeletons in the Middle East have been found with ivory implants. Moreover, an ancient Roman soldier was discovered with an iron tooth.

The Accidental Discovery of Osseointegration

The dental implants we know and use today are the result of an accidental discovery made back in the 1950s. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, was doing some research on bone healing and regeneration. As a part of his study, he placed a titanium cylinder into the femur of a rabbit. Later, when he went to remove it, he found that the bone had begun to fuse with the cylinder. Thus, Brånemark had discovered the process of osseointegration.

This discovery spurred Brånmark on to conduct further research. Over the next few years, his research continued, and he used both animal and human subjects. Finally, in 1965, he placed the first successful dental implants. However, he did not stop there. In 1978, he entered into a partnership with Bofors AB, now called Nobel Industries. This company helped him to develop and market his dental implant products. Later, in 1981, Nobelpharma, now called Nobel Biocare, was founded under Bofors AB. This company was founded to focus solely on dental implants. Nobel Biocare is now the leader in dental implants, with over 7 million Brånemark systems placed.

The Quest to Improve Dental Implants

Research and development of dental implants continue to this day, with the goal of improving their success and their reliability. There have some significant changes from the first implants that Brånemark placed. Original dental implants were only available in one circumference, while today they are available in a variety of circumferences and lengths. This makes the treatment available to more people. Original implants were smooth, where today they are rough. The rough texture aids in improved osseointegration. The implants of today are also made of a titanium alloy, rather than pure titanium. Pure titanium was too soft. Titanium alloy contains other metals to help improve strength. In addition to improvements made on titanium implants, there is also research being done into alternative materials. The most promising material so far has been zirconia.

If you are missing teeth, it is essential that you have them replaced as soon as possible. Call Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery today for more information, and to find out if dental implants are the right solution for you at (805) 267-9766.
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Dental implants and All-on-4® Treatment Concept has literally transformed millions of lives. Why not see what they can do for you or someone you love? Want to know more?

Call us at (805) 267-9766 to schedule a consultation, to see if dental implants are right for you.

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Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery
911 Hampshire Road Suite 4
Westlake Village, CA 91361

(805) 495-7416