Per-Ingvar Brånemark

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Per-Ingvar Brånemark
Branemark headshot2.jpg
Born (1929-05-03) May 3, 1929 (age 85)
Nationality Swedish
Fields Orthopedic surgery
Institutions Gothenburg University
Alma mater Lund University
Notable awards European Inventor Award 2011

Per-Ingvar Brånemark (born May 3, 1929) is a Swedish orthopedic surgeon and research professor, touted as the "father of modern dental implantology."[1] The Brånemark Osseointegration Center (BOC), named after its founder, was founded in 1989 in Gothenburg, Sweden.[2]


After studying at Lund University in Sweden, Brånemark became professor of Anatomy at Gothenburg University in 1969.[3]

Brånemark has been awarded many prizes for his work, including the coveted Swedish Society of Medicine's Soederberg Prize in 1992—often referred to as the 'mini-Nobel'—and the Swedish Engineering Academy's equally prestigious medal for technical innovation.[3]

Brånemark has also been honored with the Harvard School of Dental Medicine Medal for his work on dental implants in the United States and holds more than 30 honorary positions throughout Europe and North America, including the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of Medicine in the UK.[3] In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate from the European University of Madrid.[4] He was the winner of the European Inventor Award 2011 in the category Lifetime achievement.[5]

Dental implantology[edit]

In 1978, the first Dental implant Consensus Conference was held, sponsored jointly by the National Institutes of Health and Harvard University. It was a landmark event, at which retrospective data on dental implants were collected and analyzed and criteria and standards for implant dentistry were established.[6]

In 1982 in Toronto, Brånemark presented work that had begun 15 years earlier in Gothenburg. His discovery and application of osseointegration, or the biological fusion of bone to a foreign material, was unparalleled and such scientific documentation of implantology had never before been gathered. The Toronto conference brought widespread recognition to the Brånemark implant methods and materials and is one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in dentistry since the late 1970s.[6]

The Brånemark System of dental implants was bought out and is currently available from Nobel Biocare.[7]

Discovery of osseointegration[edit]

Radiograph of Brånemark's initial rabbit specimen, showing the titanium optic chamber fixed to the rabbit's tibia and fibula. The distal extent of the rabbit's femur can be seen at the left of the radiograph, completely unrelated to the screw, despite some sources (such as Block & Kent's textbook) claiming that Brånemark's study involved the femur.

Brånemark's discovery of osseointegration revolutionized the realm of implant dentistry and brought it from being a shunned field into one that became recognized and incorporated into dental school curricula and training programs.[8]

Prior to the discovery of osseointegration, dental implant technology consisted of blade and transosteal implants. Blade implants, introduced in 1967, consisted of a metal blade that was placed within a bony incision that subsequently healed over the horizontally situated piece of metal but allowed a vertical segment to perforate the healed surface. Transosteal implants, the application of which was strictly limited to the mandible, consisted of a number of screws which were inserted into the inferior aspect of the mandible, some of which extended through and through into the oral cavity.[8]

Both of these implant types relied on mechanical retention, as it was heretofor unknown that metal could be fused into the bone. With the advent of osseointegration, however, rootform endosteal implants became the new standard in implant technology.[8]

Brånemark's serendipitous discovery of osseointegration occurred in 1952 during vital microscopy studies in rabbits using titanium optic chambers.[1] He and his team found that titanium oculars placed into the lower leg bones of rabbits could not be removed from the bones after a period of healing (see photo at right).[9] He then developed and tested a type of dental implant utilizing pure titanium screws, which he termed fixtures.[8]

Although the field of implantology was eschewed by dental academia until that time, the "extensive and weighty documentation of implant efficacy and safety" and "early replication by reliable, independent researchers" resulted in the widespread embrace of implantology by the dental community.[8]

Brånemark's son, Rickard, has taken this success and is developing orthopedic prostheses in the form of artificial arms and legs anchored to the human skeleton.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Implant information page
  2. ^ Brå
  3. ^ a b c Brånemark Biography
  4. ^
  5. ^ Implanting hope
  6. ^ a b Shulman, L. B.; Driskell, T. D. (1997). "Dental Implants: A Historical Perspective". In Block, M.; Kent, J.; Guerra, L. Implants in Dentistry. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders. p. 2. ISBN 0721621740. 
  7. ^ Nobel Biocare
  8. ^ a b c d e Shulman, LB; Driskell, TD: Dental Implants: A Historical Perspective. In Block, M; Kent, J; Guerra, L, editors: Implants in Dentistry. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1997. page 6.
  9. ^ Brånemark, PI: Introduction to osseointegration. In Brånemark, PI; Zarb, G; Albrektsson, T, editors: Tissue-Integrated Prostheses - Osseointegration in Clinical Dentistry. Quintessence Publishing, Co., Inc. Chicago, page 26.
  10. ^ Göteborg National Centre for Biomaterials and Cell Therapy

External links[edit]