Dental implants have greatly evolved over just the past 20 years. However, the concept of tooth replacement is anything but new. For as long as societies have been in existence, importance has been placed on the beauty and retaining of teeth. Having a nice, full set of teeth has evolutionarily and psychologically long been seen as essential in appearing attractive since people's smiles are one of the first things that other people notice. Is it any wonder that nightmares about losing teeth are some of the most common dreams that people experience? The idea of permanently being able to replace teeth has been a desire of civilizations since the days of the Egyptians. Luckily, our modern-day methods of dental implantation are much more successful and painless than attempts from 3,000 years ago. Today dentists use a method involving titanium abutments or posts that attach to the bone to hold artificial replacement teeth. Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry offers implant dentistry as one of its services to those who qualify.
The Evolution of Dental Implants
The first implant was found to be a copper peg hammered into the upper jawbone of an Egyptian king about 3,000 years ago. Researchers have found that about 1,000 years later people in Central America tried to replace their lost teeth with animal ones, or with teeth bought from others. Many years later, in the U.S. in the 1950's and 60's, dentists began experimenting with blade implants which sat in a trough of bone and were held in by fibrous tissue. But the bone didn't grow in around the blade, and the success rate of these implants were only about 50-60%. Finally, in the mid-1960's, Dr. Branemark in Sweden discovered that titanium would fuse to bone, and this discovery would pave the way for all future dental implant work. At first, the implants were placed only in the front part of the lower jaws where no nerves were involved. The technology soon further evolved in America, and in the early 1980's dentists began putting implants in the back of both the lower and upper jaws, where the bone is less dense than in the front and therefore harder to work with. This "osseointegration," in which the jawbone actually grows into the dental implant post, is successful in sealing harmful bacteria out of the bone tissue. Another further breakthrough in the evolution of dental implants came with the advent of computerized tomography (CT). This can be used to develop a model of the jawbone's surface, eliminating the need for the preliminary surgery required to make impressions of the jawbone. For some patients, CT imaging can make tooth implantation a one-step procedure.
Dental Implants With Dr. Williamson
Obviously, dental implants have come a long way. At Raleigh Comprehensive and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Williamson and his staff are highly educated and knowledgeable about dental implants and ensure that you will be taken care of throughout the implantation procedures. Visit our offices today to find out how we can make your teeth replacement dreams come true. Visit our smile gallery for an illustration of the dental implant procedure.