Many of the most important and life-saving and life-changing discoveries took place by “chance”, such as penicillin. The basis of what allows modern dental implants, osseointegration was also discovered by chance.
Back in 1952, Per-Ingvar Brånemark was conducting an experiment wherein he used a titanium implant chamber in order to study the flow of blood in rabbit bone. After the experiment concluded, he wanted to remove the implant and discovered it had integrated so well into the bone that it was impossible to remove it. He called this discovery osseointegration and he believed in the possibility of using this for humans.
In 1965, Brånemark who was the Professor of Anatomy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden made his first implant on Gösta Larsson. This patient required implants since he had a cleft palate defect, although Larsson died in 2005, his original implants were in perfect shape after 40 years.
Although this discovery is the basis for many of the medical and dental procedures we know, Brånemark had a tough road to steer, he was often ridiculed and it took him almost 30 years battling with skeptics. Today thanks to Brånemark, osseointegration has allowed people around the world to reap the benefits of prosthesis and dental implants.
But what is osseointegration and why is it important for dentistry?
A dental implant is a replacement for a missing tooth and it somehow mimics the natural tooth. As we know natural teeth consists of the crown, which is the visible part of your tooth covered with enamel and the root, which is deeply ingrained in the jaw and is not visible. The root is the part of the tooth that is replaced by an implant.
Once you have lost a tooth, the process that allows an implant device to be held into place in your jaw is osseointegration. This occurs when bone cells in your jaw attach to the surface of the titanium implant in such a way that it holds it into place and makes it one with the jaw.
Without this incredible ability of the bone to integrate with the titanium implants, it would be simply unconceivable to develop all the alternatives you have to replace missing teeth.
By: Prisma Dental
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