History of Dental Implants

Dental Implants have been an ancient science as Archaeologists have found instances of civilizations attempting something similar to Dental Implants to replace missing teeth. The earliest example was in Egyptian civilization around 2000 BC where missing teeth were replaced by tooth shaped ivory or wooden teeth or teeth from other humans. Bridges were also fabricated with teeth from other humans using them as pontics.

Success of these prosthesis in that period was usually pretty slim as the sterilization procedures were not followed and surgical procedures were also crude.

2500 BC: Ancient Egyptians used gold ligature wires to hold a human tooth or ivory tooth in position taking support from adjacent teeth.

2000 BC: Bamboo was carved in the shape of teeth and used as a replacement of teeth in Ancient China.

1000 BC: In the jawbone of an Egyptian King, there were copper pegs found hammered in to the bone. Wonder if it was done while he was still alive which would have been very painful.

500 BC: Gold bands were used by the Estrucans to hold missing teeth in position while the Phoenicians used Gold Wires for the same purpose.

100 BC: Teeth from Animals or Slaves were used to replace missing teeth

300 AD: The Phoenicians carved teeth from Ivory and used Gold wires to create fixed bridges.

600 AD: Seashells were used to replace missing teeth by Mayans which was discovered by archaeologists in 1931.

800 AD: The Mayans and Hondurans used Stone Implants to replace missing teeth. (can just imagine how painful it might have been)

1500 AD: Teeth from cadavers and underprivileged were collected and placed in patients mouth as allotransplantation.

1700 AD: Dr. Hunter planted an incompletely developed toot into a rooster and observed that the tooth got embedded in the comb of the rooster with blood vessels growing into the pulp of the tooth. This lead to the idea of transplanting teeth from one human to another.

1809 AD: J. Miggiolo placed a gold implant tube into a fresh extraction site and crow placed on a later date. It was observed that due to excessive inflammation of the gingiva it was not successful.

18th century: Researchers fabricated dental Implants using Gold and alloys which were not successful in fusing with the bone. Other substances such as silver capsules, corrugated porcelain and iridium tubes were used which did not yield good results.

1886: Platinum disc was placed inside the bone and a porcelain crown was placed which was stable for sometime but did not yield positive results for the long term.

1913: Dr. EJ Greenfield placed a 24-guage hollow latticed cylinder of irridio-platinum soldered with 24-karat gold as an implant after placing a circular incision in the jaw-bone of a patient.

1930: Two brothers Drs. Alvin and Moses Stork used orthopedic screw fixtures made of Vitallium (chromium-cobalt alloy) by placing them in human and dog jaws to replace individual teeth. It was partially successful and were acknowledged for their work. Dr. Alvin Stork also experimented on the use of Antibiotics in Periodontal infections like Trench mouth or ANUG.

1938: Dr. P.B. Adams used Cylindrical Endosseous implant which was threaded internally and externally and had a smooth gingival collar along with a healing cap. A Rough representation of the modern day Implants design.

1940:  “Formiggini” along with Zepponi introduces a post-type endosseous implant having a spiral stainless steel design of the implant, this design allowed the bone to grow into the metal. This was made by constructing a stainless steel wire on itself.

Later the design was modified by Dr. Perron Andres as he included a solid shaft in Formiggini’s Spiral design. From here on there has been a drastic increase in the designs of Dental Implants.

1960: Dr. Cherchieve introduces a double helical spiral Implant using cobalt and chromium.

Dr. Giordano Muratori Improved the Spiral shaft design by adding internal threading to the shaft of the Implant

1963: Dr. Leonard Linkow improved the basic spiral design into a flat plate, which was called the blade Implant having two variations. It was design to be placed in the mandible or maxilla depending on the design. He also developed the Ventplant Implant. Blade Implant is now called as an Endosseous Implant.

1965: Dr. Sandhaus developed an aluminum bone screw which was crystallized

1970: Drs. Roberts and Roberts developed the Ramus Blade Endosseous Implant made of Surgical Grade Stainless steel. They also developed the ramus frame implant which received stability by anchoring in the ramus bilaterally along with the symphysis area.

Vitreous carbon implants were introduced by Grenoble.

Weiss and Judy used intramucosal inserts which helped in retention of removable maxillary prostheses.

1975: Two stage threaded titanium root-form Implant was developed by Dr. P. Branemark which was tested using pure titanium screws and named them as fixtures.

When was the First modern Dental Implant placed in a Human:

Per-Ingvar Branemark an Orthopedic Surgeon is considered the Father of Dental Implants as he was the first person to place a human volunteer in 1965 by Branemark. The use of Titanium in Dental Implants was found after Branemark found that the Titanium cylinder fused with the Femur of a rabbit during the process of bone healing and regeneration. These Implants are documented to have lasted for 40 years in the patient.

Father of Modern Dental Implants: “Formiggini” along with Zepponi introduces a post-type endosseous implant having a spiral stainless steel design of the implant, this design allowed the bone to grow into the metal.


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