Implant dentistry museum in Venice, Italy, to honor Drs. Leonard I. Linkow and Jack Wimmer

Lori Kesselman, JD, discusses recognition for two esteemed dental innovators

The American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics (AAIP) in cooperation with its Italian affiliate, NuovoGISI, will sponsor an implant dentistry section in an established Venice, Italy, museum of medicine. The implant section will be named in memory of two American innovators, Drs. Leonard I. Linkow and Jack Wimmer, who contributed greatly to the development of blade and subperiosteal implants.

The museum is located inside the S.S. Giovanni e Paolo Civil Hospital, a well-respected hospital in Venice. After World War II, Professor Umberto Saraval was director of stomatology at the hospital and also the first editor-in-chief and then director of Rivista Italiana di Stomatologia.

The journal was edited and printed in Venice. The periodical published the articles of implant pioneer, Manlio Formiggini, who in 1947 described his method for inserting a self-made screw immediately after tooth extraction. In 1955, the journal published Formiggini’s conclusions after having treated 25 patients. A number of articles fundamental to the advancement of implant dentistry throughout the years were printed in Dr. Saraval’s journal.


S.S. Giovanni e Paolo Civil Hospital of Venice (top), home of the implant dentistry museum. The main exhibit hall of the museum is pictured to the right

Dr. Leonard I. Linkow

Leonard I. Linkow, DDS, DMSc, considered by his many colleagues and students as the “Father of Oral Implantology,” died on January 26, 2017, after a long illness at the age of 90.


Early original Linkow implant castings framed to hang in Dr. LInkow’s off

The name Linkow is synonymous with dental implants. Dr. Linkow is responsible for numerous innovations in implant dentistry. Among his major contributions are the blade implant, the self-tapping ventplant root form implant, the tripodal subperiosteal implant, immediate loading, and the internal hex design for root form implants. He held 36 patents. Dr. Linkow was the only dentist ever to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Dr. Linkow practiced dentistry in New York City throughout his career. He has been honored in many of the world’s greatest cities — Berlin, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Zurich, among others. He maintained lifelong friendships with some of the most renowned people in the dental profession. He was the author of 19 textbooks and approximately 100 articles in dental and medical journals. Dr. Linkow developed and introduced numerous implant systems, many of which are in use today throughout the world. A number of international congresses and seminars bear his name.

Dr. Linkow was Clinical Professor of Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry at the time of his death. He also served as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at Temple University in Philadelphia for many years, where he demonstrated surgical and prosthodontic implant procedures, lectured to both undergraduate and advanced education students, and gave interested students and faculty unique training, which was unavailable at other dental schools at that time.

In 1992, the New York University College of Dentistry created the first and only endowed chair in implantology in perpetuity with Dr. Linkow as the recipient.


Leonard I. Linkow, DDS, DMSc


Dr. Jack Wimmer

Dr. Jack Wimmer

Dr. Jack Wimmer, a highly respected and historically important innovator and contributor to the dental profession, died on May 24, 2017, at the age of 94. A Holocaust survivor whose entire family was murdered at the Belzec death camp in Poland, Dr. Wimmer met his wife, Sally, a year after his liberation. He completed his dental education in Würzburg, Germany, and began practicing dentistry in Munich. In 1951, he and his family immigrated to the United States.

Dr. Wimmer opened his own dental laboratory, Park Dental Studios initially located at 30 Central Park South in Manhattan. Park Dental Studios became one of the most widely known and respected dental laboratories in the country.

In the late 1950s, Dr. Wimmer developed a great interest in dental implantology. He worked closely with Dr. Leonard I. Linkow and others pioneering the introduction of dental implants. Dr. Wimmer helped develop subperiosteal implants and lectured throughout the world on that topic. He authored chapters for implant textbooks and wrote articles on implants and dental laboratory technology for dental periodicals.

Dr. Wimmer founded Park Dental Research Corporation, which introduced several innovative products. He is responsible for introducing to the profession the use of radiofrequency glow discharge for sterilizing and cleaning the surface of dental implants.

Linkow and Wimmer Museum of Oral Implant History

The hospital museum will include a section devoted to the history of oral implantology. Dr. Linkow’s daughter, Sheree L. Mandelbaum, and Dr. Wimmer’s wife, Sally, have donated a large variety of the original initial castings and carvings of blade and subperiosteal implants to the museum. Dr. Linkow’s initial drawings and notes were also donated along with other items.

Throughout the years Drs. Linkow and Wimmer gave their colleagues and close friends, Drs. Sheldon Winkler and Mike Shulman, numerous early implant castings, blade insertion instruments, old patient education models, drawings, and other historical implant objects. All of these items were also donated to the museum.


Early patient subperiosteal patient demonstration model showing subperiosteal casting (left) and complete denture segment (right)


Facial view of early maxillary subperiosteal implant casting and fixed prosthesis from Park Dental Studios

Early patient subperiosteal patient demonstration model showing subperiosteal casting (left) and complete denture segment (right) Facial view of early maxillary subperiosteal implant casting and fixed prosthesis from Park Dental Studios


Facial view of early mandibular subperiosteal implant casting and fixed prosthesis from Park Dental Studios


Occlusal view of early mandibular sub-periosteal implant casting and fixed prosthesis from Park Dental Studios


Early maxillary subperiosteal implant casting and fixed prosthesis from Park Dental Studios

All items will be exhibited at the museum in new modern display tables and cabinets donated by the American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics.

Acknowledgment

Dr. Luca Dal Carlo of Venice, Italy, suggested a dental implantology museum in honor of Drs. Linkow and Wimmer, initiated the assistance and cooperation of the AAIP and NuovoGISI, and provided information for this article. Dr. Dal Carlo serves on the Board of Directors of the AAIP and is President of NuovoGISI.

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