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The Evolution of Dental Implants: From Ancient Times to Modern Day

Dental implants have been around for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and the Egyptians. However, the technology and techniques used to create dental implants have evolved significantly over time, resulting in the advanced and effective dental implants we have today. In this blog post, we will explore the history and evolution of dental implants, from ancient times to modern day.

Ancient Times

Ancient Mayans and Dental Implants

The earliest known dental implants were found in the Mayan civilization, dating back to 600 AD. These implants were made of seashells and were used to replace missing teeth. In ancient Egypt, mummies have been found with copper pegs inserted into their jawbones, indicating that they may have been an early form of dental implant.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, dental implants were made from various materials, including gold, silver, and ivory. However, these early implants often failed due to a lack of understanding of how the jawbone and implants interacted. Additionally, the process was often painful and dangerous, leading to infections and other complications.

18th and 19th Centuries

In the 18th and 19th centuries, advancements in science and medicine led to the development of more advanced dental implants. In 1809, a gold dental implant was successfully implanted in a patient by a French physician named Maggiolo. Later, in 1886, Dr. Greenfield introduced the use of porcelain as a material for dental implants.

20th Century

Per-Ingvar Branemark
Per-Ingvar Branemark

The 20th century brought significant advancements in dental implant technology. In the 1950s, a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that titanium could fuse with bone, leading to the development of modern dental implants. In 1965, Branemark successfully implanted the first modern dental implant into a human patient.

Since then, the technology and techniques used in dental implant procedures have continued to improve. Today, dental implants are made from biocompatible materials such as titanium and ceramic, which have a low risk of rejection or infection. The process of osseointegration, which is the fusion of the implant with the jawbone, has been refined and improved, leading to higher success rates for dental implant procedures.


Dental implants have come a long way since their earliest beginnings in ancient civilizations. From seashells to titanium, dental implant technology has evolved significantly, leading to safer, more effective, and longer-lasting dental implants. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that dental implants will become even more advanced and accessible to patients in need.


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