Dr. Ira Schecter DDS
The Dental and Medical professions lost a true leader and pioneer when Dr. Per-Ingver Branemark died this past Decemeber. Dr. Branemark was an Orthopedic Surgeon and researcher who in 1952 designed an experiment to study how blood flow affects bone healing. He embedded an optical device encased in titanium into the bones of lab animals and when these devices needed to be removed they could not be.
They were found to be fused to the bone surrounding them Dr. Branmeark coined the term OSSEOINTEGRATION to describe the fusion of titanium and bone. He further could visualize the potential of using titanium fixtures as root replacements in Dentistry.
Dr. Branemark spent more than a decade proving the safety of the body’s incorporation of titanium for the long term and then proceeded to surgically place the first dental implants into a patient in 1965.
This patient who previously had no lower teeth, wore an implant supported lower denture for over 40 years until he died so many years later and was able to function normally thanks to the pioneering efforts of Dr. P. I. Branemark.
It took another 20 years for Dr. Branemark’s discovery to become accepted in the medical and dental worlds. In 1982 the University of Toronto hosted an international symposium to unveil and expose the work of Dr. Branemark and dental implants have blossomed ever since to serve many millions of patients.
Dental implants have been improved in their design and in their surface structure to make them even more predictable in being successfully integrated into human bone.
Today, titanium implants are used in Medicine and in veterinary applications as well and have proven to improve the quality of life for so many needy patients.