History of Dental Implants

In the late 1950’s. Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark of Gothenberg, Sweden was working with various metals and made a discovery, we now consider the birth of modern implantology. Dr. Branemark discovered that titanium bonded irreversibly to the living bone tissue. This observation contradicted contemporary scientific theory of the day. Branemark coined the term “osseointegration”, and the first dental implant patient was treated in 1965.

In their early uses five to six implants were placed in the anterior portion of the lower jaw where the bone is usually the densest. This arrangement was called a hybrid. The implants were fixed together with a titanium bar with teeth attached. Implants were clustered together in the front of the lower jaw in order to avoid the nerve that runs through the posterior portion of the jaw. To get teeth in the molar area it was necessary to cantilever or hang teeth off the back of the prosthesis. Sometimes this caused excessive forces on the appliance and fractures occurred in the superstructure.