The “All-on-4″ Houston dental implants protocol is the latest significant advancement to have been made in the extraordinary realm of dental implantology. It not only enables implant dentists to provide edentulous (toothless) and near-edentulous patients with a brand new set of fixed and non-removable teeth that function, feel and look like natural teeth; it enables us to do so in as little as a few hours. It only takes an elementary understanding of the capabilities of Houston dental implants to truly admire how far the field of dentistry has come.
It also makes you think: what did our edentulous ancestors do to get by? And who had to bear the brunt of the earliest dental technologies and experiments so that we can all own a beautiful smile today?
In my previous blog post, we took a look at a few historical facts on dental care and technology through the ages. As part two of this series, we shall continue with our brief sojourn down memory lane! Why? Because I believe these facts can really help us appreciate just how far dentistry has come today…
A Few Hundred Years Ago, Your Dentist was your Barber!
In the middle ages, dental care fell into the hands of barbers, whose sharp tools and proximity to monks (having to be on hand to shave their heads constantly) lead them into the service of blood-letting, boil-lancing and general surgery, in addition to hair-cutting. Tooth extractions were also considered a common form of public entertainment during these primitive times. Furthermore, patients were told to rinse their mouths, morning and night, with their own urine as a post dental surgery antiseptic. How charming!
Pre-War Dental Care (or a Lack Thereof):
The majority of Americans did not brush their teeth at all, until the trend caught on after World War 2. The use of dental floss, however, goes back quite a bit further. The grooves caused by use of dental floss have been found on the teeth of prehistoric human remains. Our ancestors must have used very fine twigs or grass fibers to excavate annoying pieces of meat from between their teeth.
As a result of poor dental health and hygiene, most people over the age of 40 or 50 were completely edentulous! George Washington wore dentures carved from the tusk of a hippopotamus!
Osseointegration is Discovered:
Osseointegration is a very unique property belonging to titanium – the metal used in the fabrication of Houston dental implants. It was discovered in 1952 by Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Osseointegration is the process whereby the bone tissue in the jaw biologically fuses with the surface of the implants (see above image).
Appreciating How Far We’ve Come
Since the discovery of osseointegration, the field of dental implantology has taken off in leaps and bounds. Yet, it wasn’t that long ago that your local blacksmith offered forcible cures for problematic teeth! If there is one message to be understood here, it’s that we should all look after our teeth and gums and be very thankful for the relative ease with which our dental problems can be taken care of these days.