23 Jan Dental Implants at South Florida Smiles
If you’re one of the millions of Americans that suffers from tooth loss, you may be considering dental implants as a viable alternative to bridges or dentures. At South Florida Smiles, we understand that there are many benefits to getting dental implants over any other type of tooth replacement, and we’re here to help you understand these benefits.
The history of dental implants
Many people believe that dental implants are a relatively new phenomenon in dentistry. The reality, however, is that dental implants have a long and storied history in dentistry. And while they have changed in materials and usage over the years, the result is still the same: a tooth replacement option that is made to look and feel like real teeth.
1. Dental implants in China first came into use in about 4000 BCE, when bamboo pegs were used to replace real teeth.
2. Dental implants in Egypt first came into use in about 3000 BCE. In the case of the Ancient Egyptians, they preferred to use copper pegs to replace the look and feel of real teeth. While it’s unclear if this copper tooth was inserted while the patient was still alive, or if it was inserted in the patient after he died, this is the first ever recorded instance of metal being used in dental implants.
3. Dental implants were first used in what is today known as Ireland around 2300 BCE. Although the materials the Celts used were unclear, it is believed, by many historians, that these dental implants were put in post-mortem to improve the look of the smile in the afterlife. Because they lacked proper anesthesia, it would have been too painful to put the implant in while the patient was still alive.
4. As late as 2000 years ago, dental implants were coming from rather questionable places. Some wealthy people tried to buy teeth from slaves and other poor people, and use their teeth as dental implants. Others would take a heteroplastic implant from an animal and use it in the place and stead of their missing teeth. These teeth were susceptible to infection, and would ultimately be rejected by the host body often.
5. Other materials that were used in dental implants ranged from precious metals (jade) to sea shells. Interestingly, in the cases where sea shells were used as dental implants, there was evidence that the bone around the “implant” showed signs of regrowth.
Implant Benefits: Why should you get them?
No matter your age or your condition, you too can experience the multitude of benefits of dental implants, which include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
1. They look and feel like your real teeth. Thanks to the advances in dental technology, implants are made to look, and feel, like your real teeth. They are screwed into the base of your jaw, and behave the way the rest of your natural teeth do. This means that you can eat certain foods – especially hard ones – without restriction, and without worrying about the teeth slipping or cracking.
2. They’re meant to last a long time. Dentures and bridges are meant to be short-term solutions to tooth loss. While bridges can last a long time with proper care, they are certainly not meant to last a lifetime in your mouth. And the fact is, despite your best efforts, there is no way that you will be able to care for your dentures with the same care and intensity that you would care for your implants. Your implants, on the other hand, are cared for the way the rest of your teeth are cared for: they can be brushed, flossed, and exposed to antibacterial mouth rinse. If you care for your implants properly, and get regular checkups, they will last a lifetime.
3. They protect the integrity of your mouth. Gaps in your mouth, over a period, will cause the structure of your jawbone to disintegrate. This will lead to you getting the “sunken” look that is common amongst people that have lost their teeth, and can make you look older before your time. This certainly does no wonders for your self-esteem! With implants, however, not only will the integrity of your mouth – and your jaw – be preserved, but you will look and feel better! And, best of all, because implants effectively close the gaps in your mouth, they will help preserve both your oral health and your overall health!
In short, and in summary, implants have come a long way from bamboo sticks and precious metals. Today’s advances in dental technology have made the modern implant look, feel, and behave like real teeth. At South Florida Smile, we are pleased to provide these services to you, should you qualify for them. To find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, contact us today.