May 3rd, 2021, marks the first Global Osseointegration Day, a day which posthumously honors Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, who is regarded around the world as the “father” of osseointegration.
Global Osseointegration Day will take place every year, on May 3rd, Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark’s birthday.
Professor Brånemark’s pioneering work resulted in the first application of osseointegration, in the form of dental implants made of titanium, used to treat edentulous patient Gösta Larsson in 1965. Conventional treatment of the edentulous jaw at that time was a simple denture, which many patients felt was an uncomfortable and unreliable treatment, requiring frequent adjustment over time.
However, it took until 1982, during the Osseointegration Conference held in Toronto, Canada, for the consensus to be reached that dental implantology was a superior and predictable form of treatment for edentulousness. Today, millions of dental implants are used every year to treat and rehabilitate patients all over the world, and the method has become the modern “standard of care” for edentulousness.
Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark and his son, Professor Rickard Brånemark, developed osseointegration to treat amputees. This treatment application has increased steadily over the years, and recently Integrum, the company which father and son founded in 1998, became the first and only company to receive a PMA from the FDA, for the treatment of above-knee amputees. This is a clear indication that even this application of osseointegration will become a “standard of care” for amputees around the world, and thereby help thousands and thousands of amputees live a more active and productive life.
I shall be forever grateful to have had the distinct privilege and honor to work with Professor P-I Brånemark from the mid-80’s till he passed away at the end of 2014. He taught me a great deal with which I help patients every day, and I also follow his request to me to teach other surgeons, so they too can help patients through the medical breakthrough which is osseointegration. I have also made scientific presentations in the U.S. with P-I’s son, Professor Rickard Brånemark, CEO of Integrum. I say to P-I in Swedish, “Tack så mycket.”