At Dental Arts of Hedgesville, Dr. Smith and our whole team are big fans of dental implants. We feel implants represent the best option for replacing a tooth. It’s only been the past decade or so that dental implants have become commonplace in the dental world. But dental implants aren’t new — they’ve been used for tooth restoration for the past 50 years.
For this blog let’s get into a bit more of the background of dental implants because, at Dental Arts of Hedgesville, we place our own implants, making it more convenient for our patients.
They’re not new
OK, so modern dental implants with the titanium base have been around for about half a century. But humans have long tried to replace missing teeth in the same way, just not with the same materials. Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. Who wouldn’t want a cochina shell sitting in there between their natural teeth?
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. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break 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.
Replacing a missing tooth is key
At our Hedgesville practice, Dr. Smith 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.
Some people don’t think you need to replace a missing tooth or two. Not so. If you don’t replace a missing tooth the adjacent teeth tend to spread out to fill the gap. This creates problems with your overall bite and tooth alignment.
A few implant stats
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’re missing a tooth, call us at Dental Arts of Hedgesville, (304) 754-8803, and let’s talk about replacing it with a dental implant.