Dental implants serve more purposes than just restoring a person's confidence with the perfect smile. They are also used to help support other teeth in your mouth, help enhance your ability to chew correctly and they can stimulate the bone formation in your jawbone. What you may not have known is that dental implants have been around for over 4000 years, when ancient China first began to replace missing teeth with pegs made from carved bamboo. Bamboo isn't the craziest material once used to throughout history to create dental implants.
Though ancient China used innovative ways to replace missing teeth as early as 4000 years ago, the first recorded evidence of dental implants is given to the Mayans in 600 AD. Researchers examined old remains of the Mayans and found that they actually used sea shells to replace missing teeth. Under further examination, researchers also found that the jawbone formed around the sea shells to hold them into place, much like the jawbone does with implants that are used now.
Egypt once used copper to replace their missing teeth. After the remains of an Egyptian king were excavated, researchers found that he had fake teeth made from copper pegs. They noted that the copper pegs needed to be hammered into his jawbone in order from them to stay in place. Egyptians also used to use thin gold wires in order to stabilize their teeth in place.
One of the most bizarre materials used for tooth replacement is actual human teeth. For about three hundred years, people actually bought teeth from slaves and the underprivileged in order to transplant them into someone else. During this time, a doctor by the name of John Hunter came up with the idea to take teeth from the deceased to see if they could be properly implanted into living subjects. Hunter worked closely with grave robbers, paid them for the deceased's teeth and implanted them into a rooster to see if the experiment would work. It was later learned, however, that the body rejected the host's teeth and often developed an infection because of the implant.
Dental implants are used for a variety of dental reasons. From perfecting a smile to stimulating bone growth, dental implants are usually the best course of action when replacing missing teeth. It wasn't always as simple as it is now, however. Replacement teeth have certainly come a long way throughout history. Contact a company like Pine Ridge Dental Group for more information.