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Dr Ilja Sapiro MSc

Dr Ilja Sapiro MSc is the dental surgeon at Wanstead Dental.

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A Peek into the Ancient History of Dental Implants

July 16, 2013

Dental implants were found to have been used as early as the time of the Mayan civilisation. This time is roughly 1,350 years before the Father of Modern Dental Implantology, Per-Ingvar Brånemark, started working with titanium implants. The Mayans were found to have used dental implants which are embedded directly into the jawbone, now known as “endosseus implants”.

ancient history implants

Archaeologists in 1931 found evidence of this ancient use of implants while excavating Mayan burial sites in the Honduras. They found a piece of a jawbone from a Mayan female in her 20s, who was believed to have lived around 600 AD. The lower jawbone had three missing teeth, and there were pieces of shell that were shaped like teeth embedded into the sockets where the missing teeth used to be.

The pieces of shell found on the Mayan female’s lower jaw were initially believed to be placed after death, much like the manner that Egyptians followed in ancient times. It was not until 1970 that a dental academic from Brazil (Prof. Amadeo Bobbio), used radiographs to discover that the ancient implants were placed when the Mayan female was still alive. This discovery was backed by the fact that compact bone formation was seen around the implant location, which means that the implants were given enough time to integrate with surrounding tissue.

If you have any questions about dental implant care, please call us at 020 8530 4230 (Wanstead). Please ask to speak to Dr. Sapiro about implants, and he will return your call.

Do you want to know more about dental implants and their history? Please leave a comment below – we are looking forward to hear about your experiences.

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