Before implant dentistry was developed, the only options for tooth replacement were dentures or bridges. With implants, however, you now can have a long-lasting, completely natural-looking replacement for teeth you have lost to decay, injury, or gum disease.
The Importance of Titanium
As far back as prehistoric times, people experimented with different types of tooth replacement. Some of these attempts were very similar to modern-day dentures or tooth implants. Occasionally, treatment with these rudimentary implants would even prove successful, when the jawbone fused to the artificial tooth. However, this appears to have occurred mostly by chance.
It was not until the 1950s, however, that a material was discovered that would provide a reliable, permanent bond with the jawbone. An orthopedic surgeon, performing experiments meant to observe how bone heals, discovered the bone had fused to a titanium rod he had used in his experiment. From this accidental breakthrough, modern implant dentistry was born.
The Modern-Day Dental Implant
Dental implants were originally developed for those who had lost all their teeth and could not wear dentures. These initial implants were one size fits all, and were not as refined in structure as the implants we use today. Over time, implants have become much more versatile, and can be used to replace even a single tooth. Implants are made in different sizes and types to match the tooth or teeth being replaced and to help take advantage of existing bone mass in the jaw.
Many patients are now able to benefit from implant dentistry because of the advances and refinements in the process. Your periodontist can help determine what type of implants will work best for you, as well as whether you might have problems with your teeth, jaw, or gums that could make implants not the best choice for you. To find out more about implants, how they work, and whether you are a good candidate for implant surgery, please contact experienced periodontal team to schedule a consultation.