An oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Christopher C. “Chris” Babcock, has treated patients at Louisville Oral Surgery & Dental Implants in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2018. Christopher C. Babcock, DMD, MD, focuses on dental extractions and dental implants.
While medically-approved dental implants first became available in the 20th century, experiments in dental implants date back thousands of years. In 2000 BC, Chinese civilizations used curved bamboo pegs to replace missing teeth. Many early civilizations also tried replacing missing teeth with those of animals and other humans. However, implant rejection and infections commonly occur.
Research on metal implants gained traction in the 18th century when researchers began experimenting with materials such as gold and alloy. One doctor in 1886 unsuccessfully attempted to mount a porcelain crown onto a platinum disc. In 1952, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that titanium could fuse into bone structures, allowing long-term implantation success. While other materials had proven unfit, titanium fused easily with bones and tissue without adhesives, did not react with body fluids, and was strong but flexible. Dr. Branemark placed titanium implants into a live volunteer in 1965, and dental professionals have since continued to refine the technique to achieve better results.