Dental Implant History

A Scientific Discovery In 1950’s Has Lead To Life-Changing Dental Implants.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are small titanium fixtures that are installed in the jawbone by a specially trained implant dentist to serve as an anchors for a prosthetic structure to replace missing or damaged teeth.

When there are numerous teeth that are missing or in poor condition there is also an associated loss of jawbone and flattening of the gum choreography over time. In some cases this can be rebuilt in staged treatment with various grafting procedures, but when replacing a full set it is far more predictable to replace the lost gum component as part of the design of the prosthetic structure for a better aesthetic outcome.

The connections of the implant anchors to the prosthetic structure needs to be accessible for cleaning, and the more implants we use the more complicated it becomes for the patient to clean. Using less implants helps simplify hygiene and maintenance, but ultimately the number of implants required for adequate support also depends on the biting pressures and quality of the bone determined at surgery, among other things considered by your surgeon.

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During the initial 3-4 months after installation of the implant fixtures they are subject to a biological process of osteointegration where the bone adheres itself to the titanium surface of the implants.

During this period its important to avoid concentration of pressures on individual implants from loose dentures or fragile temporary restorations, which has been shown to be a potential cause for problems with implants.

When replacing a full set of teeth fitting a reliable set of fixed immediate teeth is advantageous because the implants are connected to each through the prosthetic structure to work as a group and dissipate the loads.

Dental Implants History

Osseointegration were discovered by chance in the 1950’s, and led to the development of dental implants. The very first patient to receive this treatment in 1965 enjoyed his teeth until he died 4 decades later.

He inserted optical devices encased in Titanium into the lower legs of rabbits in order to study the healing process. When the research period ended and he went to remove the devices, he discovered to his surprise that the titanium had fused into the bone and could not be removed.

He discovered that titanium is accepted by the body’s immune system as though it had been its own biologic substance and realised that if the body can tolerate the long-term presence of titanium, the metal could be used to create anchors for artificial teeth.

The first patient was Gosta Larsson in 1965, who had no teeth in the lower jaw and wore a loose denture at the age of 35. The operation installing four implants was a success, allowing Larsson to use his teeth until his death four decades later.

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