First, take a look at the menu items and links at http://wilderness-wally.com. Those links are the TITLE fields in a database which are unique, just like your digital ID numbers, but provide a "pretty" look as a URI. They are all served by a single file so the advice above is quite correct: YOU create the NEW FORMAT links in the manner you wish then YOU create the mod_rewrite code to convert that format to something Apache can serve. Wally's Home Page is titled Welcome so the link is http://wilderness-wally.com/Welcome. mod_rewrite converts that title to a value in a query string and passes that to the handler file (PHP) which fetches the content from the database.
WARNING: You'll need to use non-reserved characters in the title - PM for the list I use at Wally's site.
NOTE: I convert spaces to _'s before using the title as a link then convert back to spaces before querying the database.
If you're take a look at the mod_rewrite tutorial linked in my signature, that should help you considerably. The bit about not using id numbers is rather buried in the immense amount of information but you'll be an expert after you read through it 3-4 times. Don't worry, though, there are plenty of coding examples!