October 29, 2015 / 6:00am

How Modern Dental Implants Came to Be

What comes to mind when you think about ancient dental care? If you’re like most people, you’re probably picturing a toothless grin. While ancient dental practices and technology were nowhere near as sophisticated as the leading-edge products and services offered today, even early civilization recognized the importance of tooth replacement with various kinds of dental implants. But just how did modern dental implants advance to where they are today? Check out this brief history of how modern dental implants came to be, and we’re sure you’ll be a little more thankful to live in the era of digital dentistry.

Ancient Dental History

Since the discovery of two teeth connected by gold wire, Egyptologists and dentists alike have debated ancient dental practices. It’s believed that when an average Egyptian developed periodontal disease around 2500 B.C., the tooth could be pulled or it could be left to rot. For the upper class however, state-of-the-art dental care consisted of splinting the affected tooth with a healthy tooth, using fine gold wire. Around 500 B.C., the Etruscans were carving teeth from ox bones, securing the false teeth with gold bands. By 300 A.D., early dentists were creating bridges with teeth created from ivory and gold wire. Mayan dental experimenters attempted implants around 600 A.D., using shell pieces and a couple of centuries later they tried stones as implant material.

Dental Implants in the Middle Ages

The toothache was one of the most common dental problems during the Middle Ages, and every dentist had a variety of treatments, from ivy, honeysuckle and beeswax to even — wait for it — magic. When all else failed, extracting the offending tooth was the last resort. Some dentists were able to get ahold of human teeth and used them to replace the diseased ones, but it’s speculated that the replacements were probably supplied by grave robbers. Silver tubes and porcelain were also used to create early dental restorations and some of the implants were actually successful…for a while.

The Development of Modern Dental Implants

Multiple materials were used to attach tooth implants into the jaw, but none were consistently successful. The introduction of pure titanium implant screws by Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark changed that success rate. He discovered that titanium could integrate into the bone, forming an essentially unbreakable bond. Since Dr. Branemark’s discovery of osseointegration, experimentation has continued, as well as the use of coatings, titanium etching, bisphosphonates, antibiotics, and fluoride.

Entering the Digital Dentistry Era

Long gone are the days of ancient dental implants. Today, digital practices are becoming widely used and are credited as the future of dentistry. Incorporating computer-controlled components, digital dentistry is used across the spectrum of dental practices, from CAD/CAM services to the delivery of nitrous oxide.

When it comes to restoring patients’ smiles, digital dentistry implants garner incredible results. Take for example, Sun Dentals’ implants, which are precision-matched to fit  each patient perfectly. Not only does this allow secure placement, but it increases the implant success rate while boosting patient satisfaction.

Learn More About Incorporating Digital Dentistry in Your Lab

The evolution of digital dentistry has made dental implants and other dental practices monumentally better for dentists, orthodontists and labs alike. For dental labs, advancements in digital dentistry has given them a more competitive edge in their marketplace while saving time and money in the process. Even better, digital dentistry can give dental labs the opportunity to offer new, leading-edge services that help grow their business.

Incorporating digital dentistry practices can help your lab stay at the forefront of dental technology. At Sun Dental, we want to help you get there. Our SunDigital Lab Solutions allow you to produce higher quality restorations with faster turnaround time for your dentists and their patients. Contact us to learn more about our SunDigital Labs Solution today.