The Mayans Got There First

A Senior Woman with Dental ImplantsLosing even one tooth makes it harder to bite or chew and also affects your other teeth. If that missing tooth was at the front, it can scupper your dating chances as your winning smile takes a hit. So, it’s no wonder that, for centuries now, people have been searching for successful techniques to replace missing teeth. So far, the earliest attempts to replace tooth roots date back 600 years to the Mayan civilisations of South America. Archaeologists have found mummified remains with false teeth made from seashells, stones and jade inserted into the jaw, and some have actually fused to the jawbone of the long-dead Mayans.

Modern dentistry has come a long way since stones and shells, and today’s implants are made from metal. Dental practices such as PDC Dental Implants in Barnsley use dental implants that come in three sections. The implant itself is a tiny post most often made from titanium. This metal has an amazing ability to fuse with bone tissue. The implant is inserted into the jawbone under local anaesthetic. The dental surgeon drills a hole to put it in. Some people may need sedation if they are particularly anxious about this procedure.

The second section of the implant is the abutment. This is an internal screw that is inserted into the implant once it has had several weeks to fuse with the jawbone. The abutment is holds the third and final section of the implant. This is the part with the artificial crowns. The replacement teeth may be a single artificial crown, several crowns attached to a bridge, or an entire set of upper and/or lower jaw dentures. All of these can be attached to the implants via the abutment. With dental implants holding them in place, a loose denture or bridge won’t be a problem again.

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The replacement teeth will have been custom-made in a laboratory from porcelain, colour-matched with your natural teeth. Technicians will also make sure that the shape, size and colour of the artificial teeth complement your natural teeth. If you have lost all of your teeth, it is possible to recreate them from good photographs or dental impressions.