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History of Dental Implants
Dentist downtown Portland


Group of older women with dental implants from Geelan Dental Care in Portland, ORModern dental technology employs titanium implants that are biocompatible and don’t cause infection. This material proved to be a breakthrough advancement in the history of the dental implant, as previously, many metals and alloys used for this procedure were faced with the body’s rejection of the foreign entity.
From the use of bamboo to titanium, the history of dental implants is rich, and humans have always used one thing or another to replace their lost teeth.

The Earliest Version of Dental Implants


Ancient Chinese used bamboo pegs to replace missing teeth. They were fixed into the jawbone. This practice can be traced to around 2000 BC, the earliest version of the dental implant procedure.

Ancient Egyptians Used Gold to Stabilize Their Teeth


A mummified Egyptian king was found to have a copper peg hammered into his jawbone. The Egyptians also used wires made of gold to stabilize loose teeth by binding them.

The Etruscans Were the First to Attempt Dental Prosthetics


The archeological evidence suggests that Etruscans attempted to diagnose and remove bad and rotten teeth and replace them with prosthetics. They created dental bridges using gold and silver to fill the gap caused by missing teeth.

Discovery of the First Functional Dental Implant


Dr. Wilson Popenoe and his wife Dorothy Popenoe found a skull at a site in Honduras dating back to 600 AD. They discovered that shells replaced the three missing teeth in the lower jaw. There was bone growth around the dental implants, indicating that the structure was functional and aesthetic.

The Evolution of Dental Implants Over Time


The major challenge that oral surgeons and dentists faced over the years was the rejection of foreign implants by the body. Gold and other alloys were used to create these implants, but the experiments were a failure.

In the 1800s, a doctor used a porcelain implant with a platinum disc, but the bone rejected this material as well, which led to the realization that the implant must be permanently fused into the jaw bone. This process was later known as osseointegration.

Discovery of Titanium Dental Implants


In 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon stumbled across a particular discovery that was later crowned as a breakthrough in this dental technology.

He was studying bone healing and implanted a piece of titanium that fused with the femur bone of a rabbit. When he couldn’t separate the fused components, he hypothesized that this material could be used in dental implant surgeries.

Since then, titanium dental implants have been successfully used as titanium alloy screws that can be fixed to the jawbone. This material easily fuses to the bone, and a crown is mounted over the screw.

Get in Touch With Our Professionals



Dental implants have come a long way, and modern implants have a very high success ratio. The long journey of discoveries and innovations has made this procedure effective and painless, so there is a long-lasting solution to your dental problems.

At Geelan Dental Care, Aron Geelan, DMD and can help if you are thinking of getting dental implants.
Contact us at (971) 323-1990, and our team will ensure that your questions are appropriately addressed.



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