|History of Dental Implants
The discovery of a natural healing process, known as osseointegration, allows us to not only restore, but rebuild missing teeth. The history of dental implants has been thousands of years in the making, with modern techniques and applications to make it successful. At Bruce Gopin, DDS, MS, we have learned to elevate your natural healing ability and combine it with the modern materials and surgery to rebuild your tooth from the root, giving you a beautiful, functional, firmly stabilized tooth.
Bone Grows Naturally
Bone is amazing; it’s strong, firm, and continuously repairing itself as long as it determines that your body needs it. Cells are constantly at work rebuilding and strengthening bone material from the tension we place on it through regular use. As we move, exercise and play, the cells in our bones furiously work to strengthen and rebuild. When we stop, our bodies then pull the resources used to rebuild that area and apply it elsewhere. This is the process through our entire body, including our jawbone. As we chew, talk and even breathe, our teeth make contact with each other. This touching energy is transferred through the root and tells the bone that we are exercising this area, so we need to keep it strong. When a tooth is lost, the root is also lost, so the energy is not transferred to the bone. The bone pulls back the resources and that section of bone atrophies. We want to keep this bone healthy and keep our teeth in place.
Bone can be lost through gum disease and the loss of teeth. The dental implant surgical procedure begins with evaluating the bone and determining if a bone graft procedure is needed to add bulk. If a graft is needed, it can be completed quickly in our office using some of your own bone material, donated bone or synthetic bone.
Historical Evidence that Supports Dental Implants
As previously stated, the ongoing science around dental implants is thousands of years in the making. Scientists first became aware of the process from examining the remains of ancient people across many cultures, time periods and lands. What they found was ancient peoples attempting the replacement of teeth through inserting various materials into the gums. They found skulls with pieces of shell, rocks, metal, and even bamboo inserted into the jawbone to serve as replacement teeth. Simply replacing teeth is not the most surprising part, but seeing how the bone healed and began to grow around these materials was. Though the materials were not all biocompatible, and the possibility of infection was high, the bone showed that it could heal and grow incorporating these materials into the body. This natural healing and growth is known as osseointegration, a fusion of the bone to another object.
Once integration was discovered, the next objective was discovering the right material and working on the surgical technique. This would take several decades of research. By the 1960’s the first dental implants were successfully implanted and found to be both biocompatible and could remain firmly in place.
Today, we can restore a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even a full arch of missing teeth with a permanent, firm solution. Dental implants can be used with a single dental crown, a dental bridge including a full arch bridge such as the All-on-4® Treatment Concept, or implant retained denture. We invite you to learn more about dental implants. Our team is here to help.