A look at some lesser known facts about this popular teeth replacement method
Dental implants are fast catching up with other teeth replacement methods, and with good reasons too.
They offer an incredibly strong and secure option which means you need never worry about a denture becoming loose, or worry about whether your replacement tooth can cope with a particularly tricky food.
We have had a lot of positive feedback from patients who have received dental implants at our Cheshunt surgery over the years, and we are seeing an increasing number of patients showing interest in them too.
Although most of these patients have some understanding of the subject, we thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the lesser known facts about implants. Please read on:
- Although ‘new’ to many people, dental implants have, in fact, been around since ancient Egyptian times. Unfortunately, these would have lacked the usability of modern implants as they were made from either pieces of bone, or stone! These would not fuse with the jawbone at all and would almost certainly have been for cosmetic purposes only. Some experts have speculated that they were placed after death to make people more beautiful for the afterlife!
- Modern dental implants were discovered by accident in the 1950s when a Swedish scientist, Per-Ingvar Branemark, placed titanium rods into the bone of a rabbit as part of another experiment altogether. When he tried to remove the titanium rod at the end of the experiment, he found that it had become firmly embedded in the bone and was incredibly difficult to remove. Further experimentation concluded that this could be useful for artificial tooth replacement and the first implant was placed into a human in 1965.
- Titanium is one of very few metals which integrate successfully with the bone in this manner. Cutting costs by using a mixture of metals may well result in the implant not bonding successfully. Because titanium is a very expensive metal, some people have been tempted by advertisements offering cheaper implants abroad. This is risky and you may not be able to guarantee that the implants used are a sufficiently high quality for the implant to be successful.
- Although we tell patients that dental implants should last for twenty years, they very often last for many more if looked after correctly. In fact, a patient who received probably the first dental implant, in 1965, died a while ago from old age, but the dental implants, which had been placed forty years previously, were found to be in good condition.
- Some people are concerned about the drilling into the jaw bone part of an implant procedure, expecting that to be extremely painful. It is not widely known though, that the bone actually contains relatively few nerves and is not particularly susceptible to pain. Of course, we always perform this procedure using a local anaesthetic so any discomfort that might be felt, is minimised.
We hope that you found this blog post interesting, and, of course, we are always happy to receive questions about dental implants or other procedures at The Lodge Dental Suite. We want our patients to feel at ease with us, and, for some patients, being armed with this knowledge before a procedure helps them to feel much more relaxed about it.
If you wish to arrange an appointment with us, please call us on 01992 643388 and our team will be pleased to help.