Ancient Dental Implants
Dental implants have been tried in all different cultures over many, many years with varying designs and materials used. Dental implants are a little more advanced nowadays but they can be dated back to Ancient Chinese civilisation around 4000 years ago. Ancient Chinese used bamboo which they shaped into pegs to replace missing teeth. Dental Implants can also be linked to Mayan civilisation around 1350 years ago where they had implants embedded into the jawbone and used pieces of carved shell which appeared as teeth.
Chinese bamboo implant.
Titanium is the material that is used for implants nowadays.
Titanium, which was originally named Gregorite after a British chemist in 1791, titanium independently was also discovered in 1793 by a German chemist and he named it titanium after the Titans of Greek mythology “the incarnation of natural strength”. In 1797 the German chemist discovered that his titanium was the same as the British chemists Gregorite.
Titanium is silver in colour, low density but has high strength. It has a high level of corrosion resistance to many mineral acids,sea water and chlorides. Titanium is also nontoxic and its biologically compatible with human tissue and bone.
Titanium dental implant
A Swedish physician Dr Per-Ingvar Branemark, who was an Orthopaedic surgeon was interested in studying bone healing aswell bone regeneration. Whilst studying Dr Branemark observed that bone had grown into such close proximity with titanium and that it effectively adhered to the metal. Studies were carried out on animals and humans which confirmed titanium’s unique property. Dr Branemark termed the adhering of bone to metal as “Osseointegration”. The first dental implant that he carried out in 1965.