Dental implants in Westminster have come a long way over the years. Today’s implants are considered the state-of-the-art in modern dentistry. They’re the most effective method ever devised to restore missing teeth. Not only that, but they’re more affordable than ever before, thanks to recent advances in dental technology.
It All Started in Ancient China
Patients and dentists have sought ways to restore missing teeth for all of human history. The earliest types of dental implants were primitive by today’s standards. 4000 years ago the ancient Chinese were using bamboo pegs as a replacement for absent teeth. Fast forward to 1000 BC and Egyptian physicians were crafting artificial teeth from copper. We can only imagine how well these ancient forms of treatment actually worked.
By the 1800s dentures had become common. The methods used to obtain the required teeth were unusual to say the least. For example, some people would scour battlefields looking for the teeth of fallen soldiers to use for themselves. Needless to say, that would never happen in today’s world!
By the 1950s dentistry had advanced far enough to offer patients a modern alternative to these haphazard methods. It was in that decade that an orthopedic surgeon discovered that metals such as titanium can fuse to living bone. This was the breakthrough that made modern implants possible.
By the mid-60s dentists were implanting artificial teeth directly into their patients, with satisfactory results. Researchers continued to refine the materials and techniques until, by the 2000’s, implant therapy had become a comfortable, effective alternative to dentures for patients across the globe.
At the heart of every modern dental implant is a helical support made of titanium, the same metal used to make airplane wings. The implant dentist places this support in the patient’s jaw bone. It serves as the support for the actual restoration, which is usually made of ceramic or similar materials.
Dentist use titanium for its unique combination of strength and light weight. It’s a bio-friendly material, meaning that the patient’s body will not reject it, as sometimes happens in other medical procedures.
Titanium works so well for this purpose that even a close visual inspection will not reveal the artificial nature of the treatment. The only way anyone other than your dentist will know that you have an implant is by running an x-ray scan of your mouth. Otherwise, it can stay your little secret forever.
Amazingly Easy to Care for
Caring for your dental implants requires no special procedure. Simply brush and floss regularly, eat a sensible diet, and see your dentist for periodic exams and cleanings. In other words, just keep doing what you do anyway for your natural teeth.
Enjoying good dental health going forward does take committing yourself to living a healthy lifestyle overall. This includes eating a sensible diet, drinking alcohol only in moderation, and avoiding tobacco and vaping products.
Your dentist will probably recommend limiting consumption of strongly colored beverages such as coffee or tea, as these can sometimes stain teeth.
Dental implants have come a long way in the last 4000 years. We’re all lucky to be living at a time when we can enjoy the benefits of modern dentistry. Put those advantages to work for you by asking your dentist about dental implants during your next appointment. What you learn will have you smiling in no time.
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Kellum earned his DDS degree from the University of Tennessee Dental School in Memphis. He practiced dentistry in Tennessee and Colorado before joining us here in Westminster. You can reach his office online or by calling (720) 502-6290.