The History of Dental Implants

Modern dental implants are the result of thousands of years of imagination and innovation; the success of implants have hinged upon one important factor. Considering an implant is intended to be a replacement for a tooth, a bone which is connected to the jaw to facilitate in the first steps of the digestion process, one important quality was required to adequately support this essential process.

The History of Dental ImplantsLong before the convenience and cutting-edge technology available through receiving dental implants with a local dentist in Ft. Lauderdale, ancient civilizations used crude materials to replace missing teeth.

As far back as 4,000 years, the Chinese used bamboo pegs to replace teeth. There was no method of surgery as of yet to attach these pegs to the jawbone for full functionality. These pegs were essentially hammered into the heads of patients, a painful and, by modern standards, barbaric procedure.

The Egyptians of 3,000 years ago used the same technique to place copper or other metal pegs into the spaces where teeth had previously resided. This process appeared to be a post-mortem practice to offer the kings everything they might need in the afterlife.

An iron tooth was discovered in the head of a human buried in a French, Celtic grave nearly 2,300 years old. Many experts believe this procedure must have occurred following the death of this person as the procedure for hammering an iron tooth into a human jaw would have been excruciatingly painful.


During an archaeological dig, skulls approximately 1,350 old were unearthed, revealing jade or shells carved into small, tooth-like shapes to stand in for dental implants.

Scientists working at the Mayan ruins of Honduras excavated a human jaw in 1931 revealing jade and shell implements for teeth. The impressive difference between this discovery and that of ancient remains were the dental implants themselves; in whatever way the procedure was administered, the false teeth had nearly fused with regenerated tissue to the jawbone. These signs of regeneration indicate the teeth may have been installed while the subject was still alive.

As time progresses and the need for tooth replacements persisted, doctors of the 18th century experimented with gold and alloy dental implants. These replacements rendered poor results as the material would not cooperatively join with the jawbone, the single most important factor in the success of failure or a dental implant. The gums support the structure of teeth, but, they cannot hold teeth in place on their own, hence the cumbersome and unreliable nature of dentures and bridges.

During 1886, porcelain dental implants came into use which, again, failed to provide steady, long-term functionality. Again and again, these materials were not accepted by the body and bone. The fusion of the implant to the jawbone, a condition known as osseo integration, was the necessary ingredient to creating successful implants.


The first modern tooth replacements resembling the dental implants patients are fortunate to find at the office of their local Ft. Lauderdale dentist were initially created by the “Fathers of Modern Implantology,” Drs. Formiggini and Zepponi.

Drs. Formiggini and Zepponi invented the first design fordental implants which offered any kind of reliable support during the 1940’s. Their dental implants design was made of stainless steel and featured a spiral shape to allow bone and metal to grow together. Their work inspired multiple dentists to continue to improve upon the design and procedure into order to provide a humane experience promoting improved quality of life of patients.

The dental implants with which patients in Ft. Lauderdale are most familiar today derive from the keen observations and innovations of orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark. He discovered titanium had an improved success rate over stainless steel dental implants. This discovery was made accidentally in 1952 when Dr. Brånemark placed a piece of titanium in the femur of a rabbit. Upon making an attempt to remove the titanium, he found the metal had fused to the bone. 13 years later, Dr. Brånemark made a titanium implant for a human being and made history for dental implant procedures.


Visit highly qualified dentists at Florida Smiles Dental in Ft. Lauderdale to learn more about your options for replacing missing teeth.

Dentists at Florida Smiles Dental inFt. Lauderdale will answer your questions about modern dental implants and what solutions are best for your teeth replacement needs. The 5-star rated dental healthcare facility has two locations; 255 SE 14th Street, #1a as well as the office in Lighthouse Point, near Pompano, at 2211 N.E. 36th Street, #201. Request an appointment online or call 954.504.9758 for more information.





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