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History of Dental Implants

Dental Implant and Molar side by side, used to educate patients by Tigard dentist at Lisa Gitelson, DMD.Here at Lisa Gitelson, DMD in Tigard, OR we believe that educating our patients on their oral health. Dental implants are widely considered to be one of the most impressive advances in dentistry to date, but many do not realize that the modern-day dental implant has a long history. While it is tempting to think of dental implants as a recent development, the reality is that they date back many thousands of years. The following information is designed to give you an idea of how dental implants came to be what they are today.

Dental Implants Date Back Thousands of Years

The oldest known evidence that humans have been trying to replace teeth is found roughly 4000 years ago in ancient China. There is archeological evidence that suggests that bamboo was carved into pegs and placed in the jaw to replace missing teeth.

In Egypt, archeologists have found evidence of precious metals like copper being used as tooth replacements. Most of the evidence points to these dental implants being placed after death in a symbolic gesture to help the deceased in the afterlife. Some of the teeth found in Egypt were even carved out of ivory. While the copper pegs were most likely placed after death, it does mark the first time that metal was used to replace a human tooth.

There is some evidence dating back about 2000 years that ancient people would try to replace missing teeth with teeth from other people, or even animals. Using teeth from other people or animals is likely to end in serious infection and the rejection of the tooth, but there are rare occurrences of the attempt working. Implants received from animals are classified as heteroplastic, whereas those from other humans are called homoplastic.

In 1931, the notable explorer Wilson Popnoe found evidence of Mayan remains in what is now the country of Honduras. These remains were significant because the lower jaw contained pieces of seashells that had been used to successfully replace teeth. How is a success in dental implants measured? When the dental implant is accepted by the body, a process known as osseointegration takes place, where the bone grows around the implant and forms a strong bond with it.

Recent Advances in Dental Implants

In the 1950’s, probably the biggest breakthrough in the history of implants was made – the discovery that titanium is a biocompatible material. Researchers at Cambridge University found that titanium could be embedded into the skeletal structure of a patient, and instead of being rejected by the patient’s body, the bone would grow around it and form a strong mechanical bond with it. The Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Brånemark continued this research and determined that titanium has a special set of properties that made it ideal for replacing missing skeletal structure.

In 1965 Per-Ingvar Brånemark placed the first titanium dental implant into a human patient. Over the following years, he published studies of his work in an attempt to prove some of his theories about how titanium could aid medical and dental patients.

Call Lisa Gitelson, DMD at (503) 985-8945 to learn more about dental implants. Whether you are using dental implants to replace a single tooth or replace your dentures. It is easy to see, with all the advances how dental implants can make a significant difference in your life.

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Lisa Gitelson, DMD
14300 SW Pacific Hwy
Tigard, OR 97224
(503) 985-8945
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Lisa Gitelson, DMD | | (503) 985-8945
14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR 97224



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Lisa Gitelson, DMD, 14300 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard, OR, 97224-3790 - Tags: dental implants Tigard OR; dentist Tigard OR; (503) 985-8945;; 3/18/2019