In 1952 Swedish professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark became very irritated when he was unable to remove any of the bone anchored titanium microscopes that he was using in his research. The titanium had bonded to the living bone tissue which, at the time, went against conventional wisdom.
Further experimentation showed that titanium could be integrated into living bone without rejection or long term soft tissue inflammation and with a high level of predictability. Professor Brånemark called this osseointegration.
Osseointegration was first used in a patient using titanium roots in 1965 and forty years later the teeth that they were attached to were still functioning perfectly. Subsequent years of study and research have refined dental implants and they have become the answer to many patients problem of missing teeth.
With Dental implants people are able to avoid the problems associated with lost teeth such as difficulty eating, pain and an unattractive smile. Traditional dentistry has utilized bridges, partials and dentures, but each has its problems. Bridgework involves altering natural teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of replacement teeth, while removable partials and dentures can, at times, be very unstable causing difficulty eating, speech difficulty and denture sores.
Dental Implants have been placed since the 1980’s by oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and periodontists began placing them in the mid 1990’s. A maxillofacial surgeon is trained to not only deal with gum infections and the pockets around the teeth caused by the gum infections, but the surgeons are trained to know exactly what anatomical components are potentially invaded in the insertion of the implant. Their training makes them knowledgeable about what possible problems could arise, and they would know how to avoid them. The training a periodontist receives also qualifies them to be able to effectively place implants and deal with any associated challenges. Although there are implant courses readily available, no other dental specialty is trained in these surgical treatments, so one’s first choice for a dental implant should be an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon or Periodontist.
Source: Dental Implant Center: http://dentalimplants-usa.com/treatment/implants/history.html
Source: Academy of Osseointegration: http://www.osseo.org/resources/implant_faqs.htm