Dental Implants: A brief history

 Dental implant therapy dates back to ancient times.

dental implant history

photo: via google image

Archaeologist have found evidence of the ancient Mayan and Egyptian civilizations using seashells, carved ivory and animal teeth placed in extracted tooth sockets as early forms of dental implants.(1)  Eighteenth and nineteenth century England and colonial America, poor individuals sold their teeth for extraction and transplantation to wealthy recipients.(2)  Not surprisingly, the clinical outcomes were quite poor.

Dental Implantology timeline

1809:     Maggiolo placed a gold implant immediately following the extraction of a molar.  Severe postoperative pain and swelling lead to failure of the implant.

1937:     Adamspatented a submergible threaded cylindrical implant with a ball head screwed to the root for retention for an  overdenture

1938:     Strock, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, placed the first long-term endosseous implant at Harvard.  Remained stable and asymptomatic until 1955.

1943:      Dahl, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, placed a metal substructure contoured to the maxillary alveolar crest with four projecting posts for attachment of dentures

1966:      Linkow, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon,  introduced implants shaped like a blade that were buried into the jaw bone

1978:     Branemark, a Swedish Orthopedic Surgeon, was the first to present a two-stage threaded titanium root-form implant toNorth America.  He was able to show successful osseointegration of titanium implants placed into the femurs of rabbits.

Today, dental implants are averaging a 95-98% success rate (varied due to patient systemic conditions and social habits), revolutionizing oral and maxillofacial reconstruction.  Currently dental implant treatment is dictated by the patient’s presentation.  Traditionally, once a tooth is extracted and the site is persevered, if needed, a period of 3 or 5 months is allowed for healing prior to implant placement in the mandible or maxilla respectively.  Once the implant is placed time is again allowed for integration of the implant prior to tooth crown placement (two-stage technique).  At Northwest Oral and Facial Surgeons, our highly trained specialist are able to provide immediate placement of implants in both posterior and anterior regions of the mouth, again pending on the patient’s presentation.  We can even provide immediate resoration with tooth crown/full arch dentition.  Contact Northwest Oral and Facial Surgeons to find out if you are a candidate for immediate dental implant placement/restoration.

Dental Implantology continues to evolve and become even more predictable with state of the art technology.  Computed tomography (CT) guided treatment and realtime CT guided surgeries are now common place.

Ask a Northwest Oral and Facial Surgery representative how you can learn more on dental implants.


  1. Peterson, Larry. Principles of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. second. 1. Hamilton: BC Decker Inc, 2004. 189-203. Print.
  2. Lemons J, Natiella J. Biomaterials, biocompatibility and peri-implant considerations. Dent Clin North Am 1986;30:3-23
  3. Shulman LB. Transplantation and replantation of teeth. Laskin: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Vol 2. St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Co.; 1985.p.132-6