Contrary to popular belief, dental implants are by no means a 21st century invention. Their origins go much further back. To the 1800s? the 1700s? No, the history of dental implants can be traced back to Ancient China, circa 2000 B.C.!
The Earliest Traces of Dental Implants
Chinese archeologists have discovered 4,000-year-old jawbone fragments that were fitted with bamboo pegs to replace missing teeth.
In Ireland, an unearthed 2,300-year-old grave yielded a copper peg found alongside a jawbone and several dislodged teeth. Experts believed the peg was used as a replacement for a missing molar.
Archeologists studying Mayan artifacts have uncovered human skulls where missing teeth have been replaced with natural objects like carved stone and seashell fragments. Here’s the amazing part: these early forms of dental implants were actually successful. Like modern implants, those materials actually showed evidence of osseointegration—that is, fusing with the jawbone. Continue Reading →