Today is the very First Global Osseointegration Day! May 3rd was chosen to honor Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, the father of modern dental implantology. Today we pay tribute to the man who revolutionized modern dentistry.
Without the work of Per-Ingvar Brånemark, osseointegrated dental implants might not exist. His discovery of the phenomenon of osseointegration in 1952 and subsequent research has revolutionized the fields of dental, maxillofacial, and orthopedic rehabilitation. His ongoing clinical research and experimentation led to extraordinary advancements in dental medicine.
Osseointegration refers to a direct structural and functional connection between ordered, living bone and the surface of a load-carrying implant. Dr. Brånemark demonstrated that, under carefully controlled conditions, titanium could be structurally integrated into living bone with a very high degree of long-term predictability. Dr. Balshi stated, “Dr. Brånemark has been an inspiration and a mentor to hundreds of dental colleagues and biomedical researchers all over the world.”
Dr. Wolfinger’s Perspective
Dr. Glenn Wolfinger discussed Dr. Brånemark, “When I graduated from Tufts Dental School in 1990, all the implant literature at that time was based on Dr. Brånemark’s incredible work. During my prosthodontic residency at Harvard Dental School, I learned even more about the amazing research that he did to promote the process of osseointegration, which has greatly improved the quality of life for so many patients.”
Wolfinger continues, “I had the great pleasure of meeting P-I on several occasions throughout the years at professional meetings, on trips to Gothenburg, Sweden, and when Dr. Brånemark came to my office in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania to visit with us and our patients.”
Benefit to Patients
Patients all over the world have benefited from Dr. Brånemark’s discovery. Dental implants have enabled patients worldwide to transition from living as “dental cripples” to achieve the benefits of fully functional, attractive fixed teeth.
Research has proven that dental implants are safe and that titanium is biologically compatible with the human body. Many of the earliest dental implant patients continue to enjoy healthy, stable smiles. With regular maintenance and care and good general health, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Dr. Balshi’s Perspective
Dr. Thomas Balshi is one of Dr. Brånemark’s strongest supporters. He strongly encouraged the Academy of Osseointegration to declare May 3rd International Osseointegration Day. Dr. Balshi received his surgical and prosthetic implant training from Dr. Brånemark, and they later collaborated on many dental implant research projects. Balshi was one of the first dentists in the United States to place dental implants. He established a dental implant training center in Fort Washington and founded Pi Dental Center in 1986.
A worldwide celebration will honor Dr. Brånemark and the groundbreaking phenomenon of osseointegration.