If you think dental implants are a modern invention, you might be surprised to learn that their origin can be traced all the way back to the ancient Mayans circa 600 A.D. Of course, back then, fragments of seashells and carved stones were fused into the jawbone to replace missing teeth.
So, people have been dealing with tooth loss for thousands of years – and the path from primitive forms of tooth replacement to today’s technologically advanced dental implants has been a fascinating journey.
How Did Dental Implants Develop?
Below is a brief timeline of some of the revolutionary advances in dental replacements:
2500 B.C. – Egyptians attempt to stabilize periodontally affected teeth with the use of ligature wire made of gold.
500 B.C. – The Etruscans fashion replacements for teeth from oxen bones.
300 A.D. – The Phoenicians create a fixed bridge using teeth carved from ivory and stabilized by gold wire.
1500s–1800s – Teeth in Europe were collected from the underprivileged and cadavers for use in allotransplantation (transplants from one person to another).
1809 – J. Maggiolo inserts a gold implant tube into a fresh extraction site. Among the substances used as implants during this period were silver capsules, corrugated porcelain, and iridium tubes.
1913 – Dr. E.J. Greenfield places an artificial root in the jawbone of a patient.
1930s – Drs. Alvin and Moses Strock experiment with orthopedic screw fixtures made with Vitallium, providing anchorage and support for replacing missing teeth.
1938 – Dr. P.B. Adams patents a cylindrical endosseous (placed or contained within a bone) implant.
1940s – Manlio Formiggini pioneers the spiral stainless-steel implant that allows bone to grow into the metal.
Following World War II, Drs. Norman Goldberg and Aaron Gershkoff collaborate on creating the first sub-periosteal implant. It is placed underneath a flap in the gums in contact with the jawbone, but not implanted into the bone. Dr. Goldberg and Dr. Gershkoff also help form the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Mid-1960s – Swedish orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Branemark (dubbed the “Father of Modern Dental Implantology”) makes the breakthrough discovery that titanium has a property that allows it to fuse with bone, which is a process known as osseointegration. This leads to the first titanium dental implant.However, it was not until the 1980s that Branemark won widespread recognition for his methods. Nevertheless, as a result of Branemark’s system, osseointegration is not only used in dentistry, but in medical and veterinary applications as well.
Today, dental implants are crafted with high-quality materials and placed by experienced dentists and oral surgeons. With proper care, these implants have minimal complications and can last for decades.
Experienced Dentist in Ft. Lauderdale
Dr. Ernie Soto specializes in cosmetic and implant dentistry, serving patients of all ages in Broward County with comprehensive dental care and helping them maintain excellent oral health.
For all of your dental needs, contact the office of Dr. Ernie Soto at (954) 368-6264 or fill out our online appointment request form to get started. We provide a full range of dental services to help you – and your whole family – maintain your best possible smile!