Dental implants are mainstream these days. Most people know about this option for replacing a missing tooth. It’s easy to assume they’ve been around a long time, but that’s not the case. Various interesting types of implants have been around since ancient times, but they wouldn’t exactly qualify as the same technology that goes into the implants we place at Gentle Dental.
Since we like our patients to know as much about their dental health as possible, here’s some extra information on these superstars of the dental world.
Where did dental implants come from?
Archeology has shown us that humans were never big fans of missing teeth, whether the fixes were for function or aesthetics. Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. Who wouldn’t want a coaching shell sitting in there between their natural teeth? We could just drive over to the Shore to get all we need!
Those ancient attempts at tooth replacement aren’t really in the same category as today’s high-tech implants. The modern implant can be traced back to 1952. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was studying 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.
The team at Gentle Dental believes dental implants are the best solution to replace missing teeth, whether it is a tooth that is already gone or a tooth that is so badly damaged or decayed that it requires extraction.
Most of us know someone who has opted to not replace a missing tooth. And it’s not just that uncle from Hoboken. Many people are missing at least one tooth. So? What’s the big deal? The big deal is the alignment of your teeth because when you don’t replace a tooth the teeth on each side tend to slide over into the gap, messing up your alignment and your bite. And that bites!
Fun facts about dental implants
Now that you’re becoming an expert at dental implants, here are some facts about missing teeth and implants:
- An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
- 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
- Dental implants are 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.
If you’re missing a tooth, let’s fill the gap with the star of the dental world, the dental implant. Call us at (732) 549-5660 and let’s talk about your options.