Dental Implants – Why They Work

Dental implants have recently skyrocketed in popularity due to significant success rate changes and the level of restorative tooth function they can offer. As with most revolutionizing medical and dental advances, dental implants have a long history of continuing to increase their viability over time. Their reliability has really skyrocketed in the last few decades alone as demonstrated in clinical studies. This article describes why implants today are so much more successful and what factors are contributing to the success. For a description of the procedure and illustrative photos of the implant components see how dental implants are put.Dublin Dental Implants to read more.

Early Dental Implant Evidence-Low Success

An excavation of a young Mayan woman’s remains, estimated to date back to about 600 AD in the 1930’s, uncovered some of the first-known evidence of dental implants. In fact, those implants were originally thought to have been placed for adornment after the death of the young woman-a practice that was quite common in ancient Egypt. It was 1970 that a Brazilian professor used radiography to prove that the dental implants (made from seashells) of the Mayan woman were placed before her death. The x-rays showed that around two of the three implants had bone regeneration. The lack of similar artifacts at the period indicates a very low rate of development, while the Mayan culture was no doubt noted for its innovations and achievements. Little was probably known why those dental implants worked (and why most other implants did not).

Continued experimentation-Not well understood successes

During the 19th century extensive work in dental implants took place. Materials typically used were gold and platinum, and implants were often placed immediately after an extraction. By then, attempts at implanting human teeth in the 18th century had already provided evidence that someone else ‘s teeth would be rejected by the human body. Even the implants which were initially successful in the 19th century did not seem to last.

An accidental breakthrough of the 20th century provides important clues

The revolutionary advances in dental implants began in the 1950s when Swedish orthopedic surgeon Dr. P.I. Brånemark was conducting bone regeneration and cure research. He studied the process using titanium-made optical chambers which were screwed into bone. He discovered after making observations for a couple of months that the (costly) optical chambers could not be readily removed for reuse because bone had shaped and hardened around the titanium screws. Brånemark branched to research the exciting implications for implant dentistry from his “normal” field , especially since the results (in the mouth) were more readily suited for clinical observation. (Titanium implants are of course also very important today for successful joint replacements and prostheses.)