Implant Dentistry’s Origins, Challenges and Discoveries Described in Academy of Osseointegration Historical Video

Chicago, May 14, 2014

In celebration of its 30thOsseointegration (AO) recently released a new video on YouTube in whichexperts and founding members convey the birth and evolution of both theorganization and implant dentistry itself.

The 20-minute video, “The FoundingHistory of the Academy of Osseointegration,” can be viewed on AO’s YouTubechannel ( and willbe a useful tool for dental schools, study clubs, and resident instruction andrecruitment programs.

The video describes the early challenges of implant dentistry and how thescience has evolved over the past 30 years. Because of the ongoing commitmentof these early experts, and their predecessors, to research, technologicaladvancements and proper training, dental implants are now highly predictableand commonplace with a success rate of about 95 percent.

140514 in ao video screen“The board wanted to have an account—directly from the original doctors—about their experiences and challenges in founding the Academy,” said Dr. AlanPollack (New York, NY), leading member in charge of the Founders’ Video TaskForce. “We believe sharing these stories will be invaluable to the continuedevolution and growth of our science.”

From small conclave to global organizationIn May 1982, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark introduced osseointegration to NorthAmerica at a conference in Toronto, Canada, sparking much interest andenthusiasm and creating ripples throughout the dental community. Proponents ofthe new science were determined to improve the success rate of implants, whichhad been only about 50 percent until that time.

After learning of this new technique, Dr. Charles Berman and Dr. Gerald Barrackformed the New York Osseointegration Study Group, described in the videoas “a small conclave of friends with a shared passion to understand and shareknowledge about this new science.” This group evolved into AO, as it knowntoday.

“We were going to have to learn from each other,” said Dr. Barrack in the videoregarding the new study group. “There wasn’t anyone else to learn it from.”The first meetings were attended mostly by local dentists in New York andthe surrounding areas. This original study group expanded into a nationalorganization and then into the international organization with approximately 6,000members from 70 countries. The Academy has the same focus today as it had inthe early days of its formation: to advance the vision of implant dentistry.

The video debuted in March at AO’s annual meeting in Seattle. In addition to Dr.Pollack, the task force included Dr. Russell D. Nishimura (Westlake, CA), and Dr.Michael Norton (London, England), who serves as narrator.

“The Academy’s Board of Directors created this video to capture an importantpage in the history of dentistry and to chronicle the Academy’s rise to the world’sleading dental implant organization. In fact, the development of osseointegratedimplants parallels the growth of the Academy itself,” said Dr. Norton in the video’sconclusion. “The Academy has been the centerpiece for sharing knowledge andthe interchange of new ideas since our first meeting.”The video is an oral history to accompany the written account, “A History of theAcademy of Osseointegration, 1985-2007,” published in 2008.

About the Academy of Osseointegration

With 6,000 members in 70 countries around the world, the Academy ofOsseointegration (AO) is recognized as the premier international associationfor professionals interested in implant dentistry. AO serves as a nexuswhere specialists and generalists can come together to share best practicesand coordinate optimal patient care. AO evaluates emerging research,technology and techniques to ensure its members have the most important andtimely evidence-based information and tools they need to succeed. Follow AO onFacebook and Twitter.


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