6 Facts About Implants You Probably Don't Know

Posted on: 12 December 2014


Who says dental implants (such as those provided by Nashville Periodontal Group) can't be fun? They brighten your smile, make your mouth more complete and can boost your self-confidence. While they may seem like simple fake teeth, implants have a long history that dates well beyond modern dentistry. Take a look at the lighter side of these dental devices and learn about some lesser-known facts.

1. The ancient Mayans wore implants. Ancient implants were found in the jaw of a Mayan woman, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID). Dating back to roughly 600 AD, these dental devices were made from shell and hammered directly into the jaw.

2. The American Dental Association notes that modern-day implants are made from titanium. Even though the use of titanium is 'recent' in comparison to the Mayan shell version, it's hardly new. Dentists have been putting titanium implants into patient's mouths for more than four decades.

3. It's really a tiny screw. While it's not exactly the same type of screw that you use during home improvement projects, it's still a screw. The dental surgeon places the screw into the jaw, where it replaces the root. The actual implant is the metal screw, a crown sits on top. It's the crown, and not the implant, that looks like a real tooth.

4. The screw and crown aren't prone to decay. Unlike real teeth, these fake ones won't need fillings. While you still need to brush and floss to keep your mouth, other teeth and gums healthy, you can't get a cavity in an implant.

5. The bone in the jaw grows around the implant, holding it in place. This makes the implant a permanent part of your smile. The fancy dentist word for this process is "osseointegration." Even though the screw will hold your implant in place after the procedure, the full integration process may take several months.

6. The AAID reports that more than 30 million people in the U.S. having missing teeth. Implants are a permanent solution. In comparison, dentures are removable and may fall out.

The science and technique behind implants has dramatically changed in the last half century. With their screw-in mechanism, these devices grow to become part of your mouth. Even though the implantation procedure isn't exactly a day at the beach, going in with an optimistic attitude and a few fun facts can lighten the mood and make your feel a greater sense of comfort.