Dental Implants – From The Ancient To The Modern

It is often thought that dental implants are a very new development in the dental field, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Even ancient societies used dental implants albeit in a very rudimentary form indeed.

Archeological digs have uncovered Mayan remains where missing teeth have been replaced with bits of shell or stone. It is possible though that these were placed post mortem to beautify the body for its next life rather than having been worn whilst the person was still alive. It can be safely said though that these implants would not have provided much function at all and would have been purely for vanity purposes. This is in contrast to today’s dental implants which whilst certainly improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, also offer a strong replacement tooth for any that have been lost.

Modern dental implants in fact had their birth in the 1950s as a by product of an experiment on animals where a Swedish scientist discovered that titanium rods he had inserted into a rabbit had in fact fused into the bone of the dead animal. Intrigued by this, he conducted further tests and found that this consistently happened with titanium. He forecast that this could be used for medical purposes and even to this day, titanium is often used to hold bones together and dental implants are now very common, the first one having been placed in 1952.

This is a great benefit for anyone who has lost a tooth as whilst dentures offer some benefits, they regularly become loose and often quite uncomfortable and due to the lack of a root in the jawbone causes the jaw to gradually change shape.. Dental implants on the other hand, once placed, offer strength and functionality without the potential embarrassment of having them fall out in public as can happen with dentures.

Whilst dental implants are currently still quite expensive, with pricing usually around the £1000 mark although this can vary wildly depending on a number of factors, it is almost inevitable that as more and more dental practices offer them, they are likely to come down in price. However, even at their current prices, given a life span of twenty years or more, they are not as uneconomical and people are inclined to believe. Added to that the ‘quality of life’ factor and dental implants suddenly don’t seem so expensive after all.

For a good example of the cost of dental implants, take a look at the prices page of Derby Dental Implants.