Dental implant FAQs
The history of modern day dental implants
In 1952, Prof Per-Ingvar Brånemark of Sweden conducted an experiment where he utilized a titanium implant chamber to study blood flow in rabbit bone. After the experiment was completed, and when it became time to remove the titanium chambers from the bone, it was discovered that the bone had integrated completely with the implant and the chamber could not be removed. Professor Brånemark called this process “osseointegration,” and realised at that point that there was a great potential for the use of titanium screws in humans who had lost their teeth. He realised that a prosthetic crown could be fixed on to a titanium screw or post, which are now known as dental implants.
In 1965 Professor Brånemark, who was then a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Gothenburg, placed dental implants into the first human patient – Gosta Larsson. He died in 2005, with the original implants still in place after 40 years.
In the mid-1970s Brånemark joined with the Swedish company called Bofors to manufacture implants and all the drills and equipment needed for placing them. After some time, Nobel Pharma took over the production. Nobel Pharma is now known as Nobel Biocare.
Brånemark spent almost 30 years fighting the scientific community for acceptance of osseointegration and was often ridiculed at scientific conferences. When his university stopped funding the research, he opened a private clinic to continue the treatment of patients. A Canadian, Professor Zarb, brought osseointegration to the attention of the World dental fraternity. Osseointegration is now considered to be commonplace treatment.