In 1952, in a modestly appointed laboratory in the university town of Lund, Sweden, Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark had a lucky accident -- what most scientists call serendipity. Much to his irritation, Dr. Brånemark discovered that it was impossible to recover any of the bone-anchored titanium microscopes he was using in his research. The titanium had apparently bonded irreversibly to living bone tissue, an observation which contradicted contemporary scientific theory.
His curiosity aroused, Dr. Brånemark subsequently demonstrated that -- under carefully controlled conditions -- titanium could be structurally integrated into living bone with a very high degree of predictability and, without long-term soft tissue inflammation or ultimate fixture rejection. Brånemark named the phenomenon osseointegration.
The first practical application of osseointegration was the implantation of new titanium roots in an edentulous patient in 1965. More than thirty years later, the non-removable teeth attached to these roots are still functioning perfectly.
Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark
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