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The History of Dental Implants

Dental implants have become very popular in the last few decades, but the history of the modern dental implant dates back to the mid-twentieth century. From their accidental beginnings, implants have become the replacement option of choice for many people seeking to replace missing teeth.

The Importance of Titanium

History records a number of attempts to replace missing teeth with shells, bits of ivory, or even pieces of gold or other precious metals. However, it was not until an accidental discovery in a Swedish lab that the permanent dental implant became possible.

In 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Branemark accidentally discovered, during the course of an experiment, that titanium naturally bonds to bone tissue. Although this discovery was not helpful to his experiment, he eventually performed more experiments with titanium and bone to confirm and name the process called osseointegration. Osseointegration is a vital component to the success of dental implants.

Modern Dental Implants and How They Work

Modern implants use a titanium screw to serve as a replacement tooth root. An implant dentist places this artificial root in the jawbone where, after a period of time, it bonds with the bone. This bond means that, as you chew with your dental implants, your jawbone is stimulated to grow in the same way it would if you still had your natural teeth. This is a major advantage to dental implants over traditional dentures. With dentures, the bone is not stimulated and, over time, will break down.

Once the titanium has had a chance to bond with the bone, the artificial teeth are attached to the roots. Custom made and color matched, your replacement teeth are virtually indistinguishable from the teeth they are replacing. Implants are permanent, do not shift in the mouth, and last many years with proper care.

If you have missing teeth and would like to find out more about your options, including dental implants, please contact Dr. Dickson’s office, serving Plano and surrounding areas, to schedule a consultation.

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