Dental technology has come a long way since the first evidence of implants was discovered. Archeologists have uncovered 4000-year-old remains in China with bamboo pegs implanted into the tooth socket and Egyptian mummies with teeth transplanted from other mouths or fashioned from ivory. A site in Honduras contained a woman from 600 A.D. who had implants crafted from pieces of shell that had actually developed bone growth around them and had a build up of calculus.
In the 1950s, research was done on the femurs of rabbits to see how an implanted titanium chamber would affect bone healing and regeneration and it was learned that bone would actually adhere to the metal as it grew. Although initially studied for hip and knee replacements, it was later determined that this discovery would best be applied to the mouth.
Since titanium seems to be the only metal that possesses this unique property for bone growth, our modern dental implants were born from this research. From it sprung three different implant types: root form (the most commonly used), zygomatic and small diameter.
- Root form implants are available in around 18 varieties distinguished by shape and surface textures, but all based on a titanium post.
- Zygomatic implants are not as popular but do offer an alternative to a more invasive bone grafting procedure. These long implants anchor to the cheekbone through the maxillary sinus to secure an upper denture when natural bone is not present.
- Small diameter implants feature one-piece construction and are used to anchor dentures or similar orthodontic appliances.
At Anthem Periodontics, we are proud to offer the latest technologies in dental implants; you won’t find us using shells or bamboo on any of our patients! If you have experienced the loss of one or more teeth, we have several implant options available to restore your smile and protect your jaw from bone loss. Schedule an appointment with Dr. DeAndrade today to learn more.