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The History of Dental Implants and Modern Solutions

Learn how dental implants were accidentally discovered as well as their development over the last few decades. Plus, you'll learn about North Shore Smile Surgery's newest implant solution for those who are missing teeth and find out what one patient's journey was like from the time he met my team to the day he walked down the aisle with a big smile on his face.

The History of Implants

The dental implant, like so many other great discoveries, was completely accidental. In the early 1960s, a physician named Dr. Per Ingar Branemark was completing a study to evaluate bone healing. Dr. Branemark implanted hollow titanium screws into rabbit leg bones with a viewing window. He observed bone healing at different phases through this window and recorded his findings. Upon completion of the study, Dr. Branemark went to remove the titanium screws but was fascinated to learn that they were fused to the bone and could not be easily removed.

The doctor spent many of the next years studying this phenomenon. Initially, he intended to study the use of titanium replacements for hips and other parts of the body, but transitioned his studies to the mouth because it was easier to observe clinically. Branemark published a number of studies based on his observations and eventually commercialized a dental implant system in 1981.

Today, with advanced dental technology, the process of developing realistic-looking teeth using dental implants continues to grow and change. Characteristically, earlier teeth restored using dental implants were bulkier and more artificial looking due to limited materials and knowledge with regard to shaping and attaching artificial teeth to the tops of the implanted screws.

Today, doctors are able to match shaping and coloring to a patient’s original teeth to give them a much more realistic look, or to custom-design brand new, bright white teeth to give their patients a perfect and beautiful smile.

ReVita Smile: a Modern Implant solution

ReVita Smile, otherwise known as the All-on-4 treatment, is a newer and advanced treatment technique in which a full arch of unhealthy teeth is removed, dental implants placed and beautiful, non-removable teeth placed in just one procedure.

Patients tend to have confusion about how this procedure is possible. The primary concept making this possible is cross-arch stabilization. This means that when you bite or chew on this new bridge of teeth, the force is evenly distributed throughout the entire bridge so that none of the implants are overloaded. This is different from a shorter bridge, or single crown, where all the forces of your bite bear down directly on the newly placed implants.

This technique also makes it possible for more patients to receive dental implants. Oftentimes, a patient is told they don’t have enough bone for an implant. In terms of traditional implants, maybe this is true, but it is rarely the case with ReVita Smile treatment, which uses the best available bone to secure the final bridge, replacing both the crown of the tooth and the gums. Because both are replaced, dental implants can be inserted in various locations – the area of the jawbone with the thickest and most stable bone – to support a bridge without needing any bone grafting or artificial bone placement.

ReVita Smile is truly one of the most fascinating and rewarding of implant treatments I provide. It is a pleasure to see patients end years of frustration with pain, dental failure and years of ongoing dental disease. Patients immediately begin to smile and speak, and ultimately eat, with confidence. In just one procedure on just one day, ReVita Smile changes patients’ lives!


patient success story

Getting dental implants can be a wonderful experience for patients, one that totally changes their life. Patients will often wait for a special time in their life before they will reach out for help. The moment they do a success story is born.

Jared was a hardworking 33-year-old and groom-to-be who came to see me about a month before his engagement pictures were to be taken. He was incredibly self-conscious about his smile and told me that all he wanted was a new smile for this new stage of his life. He just wanted to look good and smile big at his bride when she walked down the aisle.

Though fairly young and in good health otherwise, Jared had a number of missing teeth, and those that remained had advanced decay and were filled with cavities. His long history as a smoker and lack of dental care was the primary culprit. He complained of constant pain and difficulty chewing as he had so much decay in teeth on his upper and lower jaws.

I was able to perform a ReVita Smile reconstructive surgery to replace his teeth and eliminate the pain and difficulty chewing. He had the beautiful wedding he dreamed of and things went smoothly as planned.

He couldn’t be happier and smiles all the time now. He reported being able to explore new foods and new restaurants with his wife, something he wouldn’t have been able to do without the ReVita Smile. His quality of life has improved significantly. It is not an exaggeration to say that getting implants really turned his life around for the better.

I strongly urge people who have missing teeth or other severe dental problems to talk with their dentist and explore the possibilities of dental implants. Implants are a major technological advance in dentistry, and can provide patients with truly miraculous cosmetic results.

Whether you're missing one tooth or all of your teeth, we can help you get your smile back. 

Schedule an appointment to find out how my team at North Shore Smile Surgery can support you in your journey to better oral health.

This blog post is based on an excerpt from Dr. Scott Frank's chapter in the book, "A Reason to Smile: Fixing Broken Confidence with Cosmetic Dentistry." 


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