Did you know that an accident involving a rabbit’s leg is the reason why millions of dental implant recipients are smiling today? The passing in December of Dr. Per-Ingmar Branemark at age 85, the Swedish researcher and orthopedic surgeon also known as the father of the dental implant, reminded dentists the world over of Dr. Branemark’s “lucky” accidental discovery over sixty years ago.
In 1952, Dr. Branemark and his research team were studying blood flow in animals and how it affects the healing process. His team had inserted optical devices wrapped in titanium into the legs of several test rabbits to observe how blood affects healing. When the researchers went to retrieve the devices from the rabbits’ legs after several months of observation, they found that the titanium casing had completely fused to the leg bones, and they could not remove the devices.
Like any good researcher, Dr. Branemark surmised that if titanium was able to integrate with bone tissue so securely, it might have several meaningful applications in other areas. An area he felt there could be an impact was in dentistry, particularly with dentures, where the standard was painful, poorly fitting devices that could embarrassingly dislodge at the worst possible moment and needed to be removed every night to be cleaned. Dr. Branemark reasoned that if titanium screws could be permanently integrated into the jawbone, a process he called osseointegration, a substitute “tooth” or group of teeth could be affixed to the screws creating a non-removable properly fitting implant.
Years of experimentation followed with every member of the research team volunteering to have titanium devices implanted into their arms to counter heavy pessimism regarding the ability of the human body to accept titanium long-term without infection or rejection.
A gentleman named Gosta Larsson, a man with no lower teeth, became Dr. Branemark’s first dental implant patient in the mid 1960’s, receiving four implants. The implants lasted without issue proving their durability and ability to integrate into the human body without rejection.
In 1982, decades after his lucky accident, Dr. Branemark presented his case once more for titanium based osseointegration to a group of medical professionals in Canada and was finally and overwhelmingly well received. His now famous Branemark System of titanium implants is still marketed worldwide by Nobel Biocare to dental professionals and millions of satisfied patients.
Dental implants have come a long way since the original research of Dr. Branemark and his team. His brilliant accident is now the basis for a multi-billion dollar industry with 3 million implants performed annually, a number which is growing by a half million patients per year.
At Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, there are single implants if you’ve lost one tooth to accident or periodontal disease, multiple tooth implants when you’re missing three or more teeth in a row, and even All on Four® same day implants when you need to an entire replacement set of upper or lower teeth. There are also mini-implants for a cost effective way to anchor your dentures to titanium implants for a more secure grip.
Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry is a full service dental practice geared to provide same day service. We’re able to keep our costs below national standard rates by doing our own lab work and being NYS board certified in sedation and oral surgery, all in our private suite of offices. Trained in cosmetic and general dentistry, Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick are able to provide affordable dental implants in just one office visit!
To discuss your options for Long Island dental implants, contact us at (631) 246-4992 to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick.
Nobel Biocare, Nobel Procera, NobelGuide and All-on-4 are trademarks of the Nobel Biocare group.
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