At Kenneth Hovden DDS in Daly City, we are always reminding our patients to brush and floss their teeth. It’s the best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums. But we know that in spite of everyone’s best efforts, some of our patients are going to lose a tooth. When that happens, we recommend dental implants as the best solution.
Humans have experimented with replacing lost teeth for thousands of years. Archaeologists tell us that the first known instance of an implanted tooth comes from the remains of an Egyptian king, whose upper jaw had a copper peg in it. They think it was hammered into place, but that’s an image we do not want to dwell on.
Other ancient cultures experimented with carved bamboo, pieces of stone and steel, and even sea shells. Rest assured, dental implants since then have come a long, long way. Today dental implants are a titanium post that is surgically placed in the patient’s jaw. One implant can support a single artificial tooth. Multiple implants can support a set of dentures.
Dental prognosticators say that implants are going to get even better, and that improvements aren’t that far down the road. We can expect faster healing and even lower failure rates, which are already pretty low.
At present, the most common cause of failure in dental implants is oral microbial infection. New generations of dental implants are expected to feature a reservoir that slowly releases anti-microbial medicine that prevents the growth of bacteria.