Dr. Lockwood and the staff at our La Jolla, CA dental office firmly uphold the philosophy that all patients deserve to be fully informed about their dental health options. While there is a lot of information available on the internet, it’s not always easy to discern what is reputable and what isn’t. To help bridge that informational gap, Dr. Lockwood created this blog. In that vein, this blog will be updated with fun, digestible posts to help communicate facts on dental implants, dental health care, and your overall wellbeing. We encourage you to join us here and to offer your own valued opinion in the comments.
Just to get the ball rolling, today Dr. Lockwood wants to provide a general introduction to dental implants and explain why they’re considered the leading solution to missing teeth. Should you have any questions or concerns, you are more than welcome to give us a call () at our La Jolla, CA practice, so that you can speak to one of the members of our friendly and compassionate staff.
A Brief History of Dental Implants
Implants have been with us, in some form, for thousands of years. We have archaeological evidence, for example, of primitive implant technology being used by ancient Egyptians and Iron Age Celts. While back then tooth implants were mostly placed posthumously, for cultural reasons, in some cases they were also used to restore certain oral functions lost as a result of tooth loss. In many cases, these implants were even made of metal, typically iron. While certainly not as advanced as modern dental medicine, these early efforts at dental care are truly impressive and go to show that the ancients were much more advanced than we often give them credit for.
The modern dental implant starts with Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon — a doctor who specializes in the musculoskeletal system — who in 1952 started to study bone regeneration. While conducting research at Lund University, he used a tool known as a “rabbit ear chamber” to monitor the healing of bone fractures and other biological processes. Knowing that these titanium chambers are expensive, when his research was over Brånemark looked to retrieve them from the test subjects, only to find that they had been integrated into the rabbits’ bone structure! After carrying out more studies, by the early 1960s he decided it was time to test these findings out on human subjects. Thus, in 1965, Brånemark placed the very first modern dental implant into a human patient — that volunteer benefited from that implant for over 40 years!
Since then, tooth implants have continued to evolve. The implants of today are made out of an advanced titanium alloy and usually come with a porous surface, which allows newly generated bone tissue to weave in and out of the implant fixture. This allows for an extraordinary hold, helping to ensure that the artificial tooth root can provide proper lifetime support for one or more permanent replacement teeth. The technology has advanced to such an extent that modern dental implants boast of an incredible 98 percent success rate!
Dental Implants for a Beautiful Smile
Dental implants have surpassed dental bridges and removable dentures as the leading solution to tooth loss. The treatment is unique in that the implant integrates with the jawbone, allowing them to offer unmatched strength and stability, which means they can restore many of the tooth functions that other treatments are unable to provide. If you are missing teeth, tooth implants may be ideal for you. Contact our San Diego, CA office and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today!