Believe it or not, the need and desire to replace teeth has been around for ages. When I say ages, I mean BC ages! For example, over 4,000 years ago the ancient Chinese carved bamboo into small pegs in order place it into their jaw to effectively (or not effectively) replace missing teeth. In addition, the ancient Egyptians used precious metals in a similar fashion to replace their missing teeth over 2,000 years ago. We all remember the Incas from history class in middle school right? That ancient civilization from Central America?
Well, they too were in on the mix but they tried using sea shells instead of metal or bamboo.
Yes, it may seem crazy that history shows us the need and desire to replace missing teeth has been around for as long as we have. I can wholeheartedly promise dental implants now are far greater in every single way than those primitive tooth replacement options. In fact, research has been showing single tooth implants to have success rates above 97% over 13 years…and counting! When compared to another common option to replace a single tooth, the dental bridge, the dental implant can last 3, 4, or even 5x longer. Reports have shown dental bridges can have failure rates of near 20% in the first three years, with 50% failure rates at 10 years being expected in some cases. In addition, they tend to damage the adjacent teeth near the missing tooth and inevitably make a one tooth problem now a three tooth problem. In this day and age, with the advancements in technology and research, this is unnecessary as dental implants are one of the most successful procedures available today.
The advantages of replacing a missing or failing tooth with a dental implant instead of a dental bridge are numerous. A few of them are:
- High Success Rates
- Decreased risk of dental caries (i.e. cavity) on the neighboring teeth
- Decreased risk of needing a root canal on neighboring teeth
- Better ability to clean neighboring teeth
- Improved aesthetics
- Improved ability to maintain bone, as bone now does not resorb away over time
In addition, dental implants make much more sense in terms of economical considerations. It goes without saying that something that lasts for a long time recoups the initial investment much easier and more predictably. The costs of dental implants are being driven down due to, among other variables, more and more companies getting into dental implant production. As a result, dentists like myself can offer this treatment not only more predictably, but more affordably for patients.
I’m a member and fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, which basically is a fancy title that means I really like to study implants, place implants, and know everything I can revolving around implants.