By Dr. H. Kopel
Thousands of years ago teeth were replaced with bamboo, copper and iron implants. Even animal teeth and tooth shaped sea shells have been attempted as implants. Of course none of these ancient solutions were successful. In the 1800’s gold was tried too, but never successfully as the body would always reject these foreign substances.
In the mid 1900’s titanium was discovered to possess the properties that allowed the bone to fuse to it allowing Dr. Branemark to successfully place the first modern dental implant in 1965. Over the last few decades much research has been done regarding dental implants. Experimentation in shape and surface coating for the modern titanium implant has resulted in our current implants which are very predictable and well integrated into the jaw bones.
Implants are now considered the standard of care for replacing missing or badly damaged teeth. In the past when tooth extraction was necessary removable appliances or drilling down perfectly good teeth to make fixed bridges would be required for tooth replacement. Today’s implants allow us to provide strong, long lasting solutions to replace missing teeth for our patients.