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History of Dental Implants
Blonde female patient of Advanced Dental Associates holding books in San Antonio, TXDental implants, as we know them now, are a product of technological advancements and not a recent innovation. In fact, the history of dental implants can be traced back to 2500BC, when ancient Egyptians attempted to create a substitute tooth with gold, and most of the implant innovation to the 1900s. However, Egyptians weren’t the only ones contributing to the development of dental implants. In around 2000BC, Ancient Chinese were using carved bamboo pegs as a replacement for missing teeth. These are just two of some of the earliest known examples of dental implants. Here, we trace the evolution of dental implants.

Timeline of Evolution of Dental Implants


There is countless evidence of the use of varying materials to replace missing teeth throughout history. Some of these are backed by ancient scriptures and others by archaeological discovery.

•  1000BC – The body of an Egyptian King, from a 1000BC, is found with a copper peg hammered into his upper jaw as a replacement for a missing tooth. Various Egyptian manuscripts talk about toothaches and contain notes about the search for a solution.
•  500BC – The Etruscans (Ancient Italians) started soldering gold bands and oxen bones to replace missing teeth. During the same period, Phoenicians (Ancient Middle Easterners) started using gold wire to stabilize loose teeth because of periodontal or gum problems.
•  300BC – The Phoenicians successfully developed the earliest known version of a dental bridge with a tooth carved from ivory and stabilized with a gold wire.
•  600AD – The Mayans (Ancient Mexicans) successfully created the first known dental implant using shells as a replacement for the teeth on the lower jaw. Images taken of the discovery show the bone firmly fused around the implant, evidencing a successful implant.
•  800AD – The first stone implant was created and implanted in the mandible or lower jaw in the Honduran culture
•  1500 to 1800- throughout the said period, researchers collected teeth from the underprivileged residents across Europe to use for transplantation. During this period, doctors also worked with grave robbers asking them to collect teeth from the corpses. They experimented with several materials, including gold, silver, iridium tube, and porcelain. One researcher also experimented by implanting a still developing tooth in a rooster’s mouth. The tooth firmly fused into the rooster’s comb, but the blood vessels merged into the tooth’s pulp, indicating a successful transplant.
•  1913 – A hollow cylinder of iridio-platinum soldered with 24k gold used as an artificial root.
•  1930 – The stock brothers develop a Vitallium screw to use as root replacement and serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth. The brothers are known to find the first biocompatible metal for dental implants
•  1938 - Dr. P.B. Adams introduces and patents an endosseous implant.
•  the 1940s – The father of modern implantology, Formiggini, developed a stainless steel post-type endosseous plant. The dental implant allowed the bone to grow into it and featured a spiral structure allowing for solid fusing.
•  1960 to 1970 – Throughout the era, implant innovation was at its peak with researchers experimenting with materials and shapes. The majority of implants in this area were screw-shaped, but the materials used include stainless steel aluminum, cobalt, chromium, aluminum, etc.
•  1978 – In 1978, Dr. P. Brånemark introduced the first known titanium screws, or fixtures as he called them. Though the first well-documented procedure, the experiment failed as the patient saw severe jaw and bone deformities. However, later work by Brånemark introduced the concept of osseointegration, and further modification to the implant showed better success rates.

Today, dental implants, dental crowns, dental bridges, All-on-4, and many other restorative dentistry procedures are a result of much of the work done in the 1900s. The procedures now are entirely safe with little to no side effects when the procedure is done right and by an expert. At Advanced Dental Associates, we provide numerous restorative dentistry services to help our clients replace missing teeth or restore damaged teeth. Reach out to us for a consultation or visit our website for further details.
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At Advanced Dental Associates, we want to help educate our patients and community about the history and benefits of dental implants. Call us now at: (210) 655-2753.
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