So You Think You Know Implants?


As dental implants have become more and more popular, many people think they are relatively new to the industry. Truth be told, implants were first introduced to modern dentistry over 50 years ago.

Actually, they’ve been around far longer than that; you just wouldn’t probably call them very modern. In ancient archeological digs, people have been uncovered with implanted seashells and ivory in place of missing teeth. Dr. Miller promises he won’t recommend implanting a seashell into your mouth!

You can pinpoint 1952 as the year that the true modern implant came on the scene. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was conducting a study of bone healing and regeneration. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break, but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.

When a patient is missing a tooth or teeth, Dr. Miller believes dental implants are far and away the best solution. They return the best functionality to the patient and allow freedom to enjoy an unlimited diet again.

Some people don’t think you need to replace a missing tooth or two. This is a bad idea. If you don’t replace a missing tooth the adjacent teeth tend to spread out to fill the gap. This creates problems with your overall bite and tooth alignment.

Facts about missing teeth and implants

dental implantsSo, just what do you know about missing teeth and dental implants? Dr. Miller is geeked up about interesting dental facts, so here are a few for you.

  • 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
  • An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
  • Dental implants are basically a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
  • Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
  • Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures.
  • Implants now have a 98% success rate.

If you didn’t know some of that — how about one quarter of older Americans missing all of their natural teeth! — now you do! If you’re missing a tooth or teeth, call Dr. Miller at 503-640-9310 and let’s talk about implants.


Posted in: Dental Implants

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