At the Doctors of Dental Medicine, we pride ourselves on staying on the cutting edge of dental technology. We’re big fans of dental implants, even though they’re not exactly new — they’ve been used for tooth restoration for the past 50 years. But, actually, they’ve been around far longer, maybe just not the titanium variety of modern times!
Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. OK, we’re not fans of implanting cochina shells into the gums of our patients. But the idea of replacing a missing tooth with an implant goes way back.
As for the modern implant, its history can be traced back to 1952. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was studying bone healing and regeneration. Seeking to help mend a broken tibia in a rabbit, he inserted a titanium screw to help support the bone, but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.
Our team at the Doctors of Dental Medicine believes dental implants are the best solution to replace a missing tooth, whether it is a tooth that is already gone, or a tooth that is so badly damaged or decayed that it requires extraction.
But we occasionally run into resistance when suggesting an implant to replace a missing tooth. Some people don’t think you need to replace a missing tooth or two. That’s really a bad idea. Why? If you don’t replace a missing tooth the adjacent teeth tend to spread out to fill the gap, kind of like people do in a stadium when one person in the row leaves. This creates problems with your overall bite and tooth alignment.
Here are some other facts about dental implants:
- 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
- An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
- Dental implants are basically a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
- Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
- Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures.
- Implants now have a 98% success rate.
If you are missing a tooth, call us at 732-329-3113 and let’s talk about replacing it with a dental implant.