For many years, the only option for people with missing teeth was dentures. Unfortunately, there were a lot of issues and health problems associated with them. This is why so many people are now turning to modern dental implants. They are anchored directly into the jawbone, just like the root of a natural tooth. This enables them to support the bone density of the jaw. In addition, they are as functional and aesthetically beautiful as natural teeth.
If you’re thinking about getting dental implants, you may be wondering what they are made from. Dr. Nick or Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry will be happy to answer all of your questions during your consultation. Still, you can find some general information below.
Dental implant materials throughout history
It might surprise you to learn that dental implants are not a new innovation. The oldest known dental implants were discovered in China, dating back to about 4,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese used carved bamboo pegs, which were tapped into the empty socket where a natural tooth used to be.
Archaeologists have also discovered ancient dental implants in Egypt. These were made from precious metals. And in Honduras, the lower jaw of a young Mayan woman was found. It featured three missing incisor teeth made of pieces of shell. These remains date back to about 600 AD.
As time passed, attempts at making dental implants became more sophisticated. During the 19th century, attempts were made to create implants out of gold. However, it was determined that this caused severe inflammation in the mouth. Various other materials were attempted, including silver and corrugated porcelain. Ultimately, they all failed because the body rejected these materials.
Modern-day dental implants
Today, dentists have access to materials that will integrate with the jawbone itself, successfully creating a new, functional smile. In 1952, Dr. Branemark conducted an experiment that involved placing a piece of titanium in the femur of a rabbit. When he later tried to remove the titanium, he couldn’t—the metal had fused to the bone. This was the breakthrough that implant dentists needed.
During the subsequent years, the technique of using titanium has improved significantly. Today, they are made from high-grade titanium alloy, just like hip and knee implants. They are shaped like a screw, enabling them to be more securely anchored inside the jawbone.
On top of this implant, which is entirely hidden inside the jawbone, the dentist will place an abutment. It is usually made from titanium as well but may sometimes be made from zirconia or gold. Then, a porcelain crown is attached. This is the visible part of the implant—it looks exactly like a natural tooth.
Schedule your dental implant consult on Long Island
When you’ve decided that the time is right to treat yourself to a beautiful new smile, you can schedule a consult at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot have extensive training and experience placing dental implants.
In fact, we even offer the revolutionary All-on-4, All-on-6, and same-day dental implant procedures. Contact us to request a one-on-one consultation with our dental implant team in Rocky Point, Long Island.
- MedicineNet, Dental Implants Procedure, Types, Problems, and Cost, https://www.medicinenet.com/dental_implants/article.htm
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Types of implants and techniques, https://www.aaid-implant.org/dental-implants/types-of-implants-and-techniques/