The Long Road to Modern Dentistry
It’s hard to appreciate the modern dental techniques we use today without looking at the past. The modern era of dentistry allows us to complete procedure faster, easier, and with less pain. You’ve probably heard that time and time again.
It’s easy for us to say this, but today we want to give you three examples: orthodontics, dental implants, and dental crowns. So let’s look back at the dawn of dentistry, and then we’ll explain how things have evolved for the better. I’m sure you’ll be relieved to see how far we’ve come!
A Brief History Orthodontics
Orthodontic treatments have been around in dentistry for hundreds of years, and archeologists have found evidence that ancient civilizations used metal bands to move teeth. In the 1700s, French dentist Dr. Pierre Fauchard published works about using a metal, horseshoe-shape arch expander to straighten teeth. Brackets and wires came later in the 1900s. But dentists often used expensive metals like silver and gold, so the treatments were not affordable. In the 1970s, dentists began cementing the brackets directly to the tooth. That’s still where we’re at today with braces, but the design and materials have greatly improved.
Aside from braces, we also have implemented plastic aligners. At Winnipeg Square Dental, we use Invisalign, an orthodontic service that uses a series of plastic aligners to correct teeth. Instead of cementing brackets to the teeth, the plastic aligners are virtually invisible and removable. Because the aligners are removable, it’s easier for patients to clean their teeth and eat the food they love.
A Brief History of Dental Implants
Much like orthodontics, archeologists have found evidence that early civilizations used dental implants to replace missing teeth. These materials included stone and even shells. This is obviously a far cry from the materials we use today. The modern age of dental implants began by mistake in the early 1950s. Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that titanium joins with jawbone during an experiment with rabbits. This process became known as osseointegration. Dentists began placing blade dental implants into the jawbone after Branemark’s discovery. These blade implants were somewhat invasive and difficult for patients to maintain.
We now use root-form dental implants that screw into and join with the jawbone. These implants can be place with more than a 95 percent success rate. We can restore these implants with crowns, bridges, or even full arches of dentures.
A Brief History of Dental Crowns
Crowns and bridges are used to restore damaged teeth or replace missing teeth. The dental crown is considered a cap that fits over the teeth to protect the nerves and root. The earliest crowns were made from bone, human teeth, and even gold. That’s interesting because gold is one of the strongest substances you can use in dentistry. Porcelain teeth were introduced into dentistry in the 19th Century, and then porcelain-to-metal crowns were invented in the 1950s.
Today we still use porcelain crowns but crowns made from ceramic material. At our office, we can prepare your tooth and place a permanent crown in one day, using CEREC technology. Most dental offices use a multi-step process to place crowns. This requires multiple visits to the dentist. With CEREC, we can place a dental crown in one visit. The system uses CAD/CAM technology to take a digital impression, which is then sent to an in-house milling station. All told, you’re in the office for about two hours. There are no temporary crowns, and you’ll leave with a permanent restoration.
We can see for yourself how dentistry has changed over the years for the better. We continue to expand our knowledge and education to implement the latest tools to give you a beautiful smile. Contact our office today to schedule your visit.