3 Things You Didn't Know About Dental Implants

Losing a baby tooth is a cause for great excitement and hopefully a visit from the tooth fairy; however, losing adult teeth is a completely different story. With gum disease affecting millions of Americans across the country, adult tooth loss is not just a distant worry reserved for old age, is a very real possibility. Fortunately, advances in dental medicine make it possible to treat gum disease and, in some cases, have some of your teeth — lost through disease or accidents — replaced with dental implants. If you are one of the growing number of Americans considering dental implants, you might enjoy a few interesting facts concerning the dental procedure.  

Oldest known implant

In 2009, archaeologists discovered what is considered to be the first known dental implant from Western Europe. Discovered in a third century BC tomb in Northern France, the young woman had an iron pin in place of one of her upper teeth. While scientists acknowledge that the dental implant could have been put in place after her death, the remains were so badly preserved, it was impossible for them to decipher whether the implant was used to beautify the woman after death, or was actually a contributing factor in her death. Prior to the discovery of the young woman, a wrought iron tooth was discovered in France, believed to be inserted in the jaw of a man at least a year before his death around 1,900 years ago.  

What are you putting in my mouth?

If you are worried that your implants may still be made from corrosive iron like our ancestors received thousands of years ago, you have no need to be concerned. Today, implants are generally made from titanium, a metal that is resistant to corrosion from many sources, including acids and salt water. In fact, titanium is so versatile and hardy, it is ideal for many uses both medical and otherwise. Not only used for your dental implants, titanium is used in hip and knee implants. Likewise, it is a metal sought after for aerospace and marine products, as well as many others.

Oldest implant recipient

Laying aside concerns over what implants are constructed from, perhaps you think that you are too old to be worried about replacing lost teeth. Not so fast. Margaret Brown is proof that you are never too old to take care of your smile. In 2002, at nearly 95 years old, the Canadian lady had two dental implants inserted, earning herself a spot in Guinness World Records as the oldest patient to receive dental implants.

Dental surgery has made huge strides since our ancestors used iron to hold teeth in place. Today you can have some of the best dental care available — and you just might end up with some of the same metal in your body that is soaring to outer space. For more information, contact professionals such as Dr. Jean-Claude Kharmouche & Dr. Justin Hardison.