When we think of a Hall of Fame, we tend to think of individuals who were highly accomplished in their respective fields.
Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, and Dan Issel are just a few of the people with Kentucky ties who are members of the college basketball hall of fame. The Beatles, Elvis, and Prince were all worthy of induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
This year, a dental pioneer was recognized by the National Inventors Hall of Fame. We will tell you more about him in a minute, but his creation — dental implants — has transformed teeth replacement for people all over the world.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we have seen how dental implants have made a big difference in the quality of life for our patients in Lexington at the rest of Central Kentucky.
Jumping To A Result
Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish physician and anatomy professor, was inducted as part of the Class of 2016 into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Dr. Brånemark is considered the father of modern dental implants.
And it all started because of research he was conducting with rabbits.
In a real way, his story shows how unexpected results can lead to some amazing discoveries.
Dr. Brånemark was doing research in the 1950s on the behavior of blood cells and blood circulation. As part of this research, he had placed titanium cylinders into the legs of rabbits. He thought he would be able to remove the cylinders and reuse them later.
He turned out to be wrong about that. When he attempted to remove the cylinder, he found that the rabbits’ bones had grown around and bonded to the cylinders instead.
This may not have been what he was trying to learn, but Dr. Brånemark recognized the value of this information. This set him onto a different path of research.
In 1965, he succeeded in placing dental implants into a patient’s mouth. Today, dental implants are considered the best teeth replacement option for anyone with missing teeth. Unlike most other replacement options, dental implants replace the roots of the lost teeth.
A big part of that is the bonding that occurs between the bone and the titanium implants. Dr. Brånemark’s even coined a term for this process: osseointegration.
Truly Restorative Dentistry
Long before dental implants, people used all kinds of things to replace lost and missing teeth. Animal bones, animal teeth, ivory, seashell, and stones were among many substitutes that humans have used for teeth.
With the advent of what we would consider modern dentistry, people developed new materials like porcelain and zirconia to create lifelike and durable tooth replacements. These do make suitable replacements for the crowns of our teeth. However, replacing the roots proved to be more difficult … until the development of dental implants.
We know that when you lose a tooth or teeth, your smile that isn’t the only thing that is affected. The absence of roots can take a toll on your jawbone as well.
There is a good reason for this. Your jawbone, like the other bones in your body, goes through a process of remodeling. As older tissues are reabsorbed, newer tissues are generated to replace them.
For your jawbone, the signal to continue making new tissue comes from the stimulation it receives from the roots of your teeth (when you bite and chew). If parts of your jaw don’t receive this signals, then it won’t make new tissues. The results in a loss of bone mass and density.
Dental implants take the place of the lost roots. They also provide the kinds of stimulation your bones need to make new tissue and to remain healthy and strong.
Putting Implants To Use
If you lose a tooth or several teeth, we can incorporate dental implants into your teeth replacements. When paired with crown replacements, this makes the closest thing we can give you to a new tooth.
Here are three ways implants are used:
➤ With Dental Crowns — A single tooth can be replaced with a dental crown paired with a dental implant. The replacement looks, feels, and acts just like a real tooth would.
➤ With Dental Bridges — Replacing multiple teeth is more effective when your dental bridge is stabilized by an implant or implants.
➤ With Dentures — A series of implants can hold dentures securely in place in any situation. This means you can smile with confidence and eat all the foods that you love to eat without worrying that your dentures will be pulled loose.
What Could Implants Do For You?
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implants, please contact any Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington. You can schedule a consultation with one of our dentists by calling or filling out our online form.