In order to give your conversations some extra spark, here are some fascinating facts you may not already know about dental implants:
Archaeologists discovered the skeletal remains of a Mayan woman in Honduras, who had replaced all her teeth with implants made from sea shells! Ancient Egyptians replaced missing teeth with implants made from gold, silver, ivory, bone and even gemstones (depending on how rich they were!). Ancient Romans made their implants out of iron, which would have made them very strong, but not nice to look at!
Space age materials
Your dental implants are made of titanium, the same material that tennis rackets, golf clubs and even the space shuttle are made from! Titanium is very strong and very safe. It does not rust and it is non-toxic. It is an amazing material, because it is actually biocompatible, which means it fuses with your jawbone to create one amazing new bite! This was discovered accidentally by Professor Per-Ingvar Branemark in 1952, a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon doing a study on titanium and rabbit bone. When he tried to remove the titanium piece, he found that it had fused with the rabbit bone and was unable to be removed. This is called osseointegration and means that the titanium part of a dental implant will become a permanent fixture in your mouth.
Dental implants stand their own ground
Because of the amazing process of osseointegration, dental implants do not need support to stand up in your jawbone! Dentures require the support from your gums, while dental bridges need the support from other teeth in order to allow the wearer to chew and look good. Dental implants do not damage your gums nor do they require other teeth to be filed down. They are fitted into a hole in your jawbone and the screw part of the implant fuses with your jawbone. How amazing!
What a bite!
The average human bite force is about 120 pounds per square inch. This compares with 50 pounds per square inch for denture wearers when they first get their dentures, down to about 6 pounds per square inch when they have worn them for more than 15 years. The amount of force you are able to bite with decides for you the food you can eat. Why would you want dentures to make that kind of decision for you? However, the clever person who has dental implants can have a bite pressure of 200 pounds per square inch. This means that they do not need to change their diet, nor do they end up suffering from malnutrition, as many elderly denture wearers do. So why would you not choose dental implants?