Professor Per-Ingvar Branemark
The Father of Modern Implants
In 1982 in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, presented his research that began 15 years earlier to explain the process of Osseointegration, the biological fusion of bone to a foreign material, it's biology, mechanics and applicability. The material was titanium! The first day of the 2 day conference did not bode well for Dr. Branemark but second day changed dental history. The conference accepted the clinical possibilites and prognosis of Osseointegration.
This landmark reseach ushered in a new era in dentistry; it gave dentists the ability for the first time to replace lost natural teeth predictably and permanently. Dr. Branemark first used the dental implants of his design to help fully edentulous patients, the oral invalid, to anchor full dentures to the jaws. These patients were now able to wear their full dentures with comfort and stability. The implants restored their ability to feel the sensation of chewing. They could eat a wider variety of foods, chew their food well, digest the food better and feel confident their dentures would not fall out at the most inoportune time.
Following Dr. Branemark's success, others began their research and studies for expanding the use of dental implants to support fixed bridges, assist removable partial dentures, hybrid prosthesis and individual teeth. Concurrently, others developed implants of their own designs, looking for ways to improve upon the predicatability and the ease of restoring the implant once it became fused with the bone. Today, there are over 37 different implant manufacturers. The research to date shows how predictable dental implants are. Current thoughts are that the dental implant used to replace a single tooth should last your lifetime.
Dr. Branemark realized how much more important the mouth is to the body than medicine and other agencies recognize. In my opinion he is an early pioneer of total health and wellness!
It is Dr. Branemark's dedication to improving the quality of life that we have dental implants to truely replace lost natural teeth.
Links for further information about Professor P-I Branemark:
- List of Publications (PDF file)
- GoteborgBIO, The Pioneer of Biomaterials
- P-I Branemark Website
- P-I Branemark Scientific Symposium Launched
NOTE: Contrary to popular beliefs, a fixed bridge, a removable partial denture and full dentures do not "replace" teeth. These types of prosthesis are used in the absence of natural teeth. (A wheelchair is used by a paraplegic in the absence of their legs. It cannot replace their legs.) These types of prosthesis use the adjacent tooth and/or teeth, the gum tissues, or a combination of the two for support and/or retention. To "replace" an individual tooth, the prosthesis must be supported by and within the bone. Only a dental implant (or a transplanted natural tooth) can replace a missing tooth (or teeth) since it is embedded within the bone.