A Brief History of Dental Implants

Dental implants represent the most effective and satisfying option for having lost a tooth / having missing teeth. Dental implants look and function just like normal teeth. They become fused into the jawbone over time, which is something its predecessor, bridgework, could never do. And dental implants are also more long-lasting, not as likely to develop gum disease, and never decay. So how did humans replace missing teeth before the era of modern dentistry?

Gold, Stone, and Ivory

  • Researchers discovered that in approximately 2500 BC, the Egyptians used gold ligature wire in an attempt to stabilize teeth.
  • In 500 BC the Etruscans carved false teeth from oxen bones, while the Phoenicians used gold wire to stabilize teeth and later combined this with carved ivory teeth to create a fixed bridge.
  • Around 600 AD, the Mayans used pieces of shell as implants, which modern radiographs show to have actually fused with the jawbone.

Dental “Transplants”

  • From 16th to 19th century Europe, teeth were collected from the poor or from fresh cadavers to be used for transplantation.
  • In the 1700s, Dr. John Hunter experimented with implanting a human tooth in the comb of a rooster and discovered that not only did the tooth firmly embed, the rooster’s blood vessels started growing into the pulp of the tooth. This led him to suggest the idea of transplanting teeth from one human to another.
  • During this time period, the most common substances used as dental implants were silver, corrugated porcelain, and iridium tubes.

Spiral Design

  • Around the early 20th century, the idea of an artificial root began to take hold, as Dr. E.J. Greenfield created a hollow cylinder made of platinum and gold to fit precisely in the human jawbone in place of a missing tooth.
  • In the 1930s, Drs. Moses and Alvin Strock mimicked other physicians’ method of placing implants in the hip bone via screw, and used orthopedic screw fixtures made from a chromium-cobalt alloy to restore teeth in humans and dogs.
  • P.B. Adams was the first to create an implant that was threaded both internally and externally in 1938, which led to the spiral stainless steel implant that allowed the bone to grow into the metal that mimics the style used in today’s modern dental implants.


Not only do dental implants help you eat easier than dentures or bridgework, they are also durable and contribute to better oral health. ZendyHealth works with providers who perform dental implants. While dental implants can be quite expensive, you can make an offer with us today and could save over 25% off the average cost of an implant.


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