“Father of Modern Dental Implantology”
May 3, 1929 – December 20, 2014
Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark has passed away after a long illness at the age of 85. He leaves behind a legacy — the discovery that titanium could be tolerated by the body to provide an anchor for prosthetic devices — that has touched millions of lives.
Hailed by the modern world as a visionary, the young Professor Brånemark nevertheless struggled to gain acceptance for the concept that he would go on to term “osseointegration.” The young orthopedic surgeon faced opposition by the medical establishment in his native Sweden for almost 20 years.
The Toronto Osseointegration Conference in 1982 would change that, providing a forum to bring the concept to the international community, and kickstarting a tidal wave of new research and clinical investigation. Since then, the influence of titanium implants has spread across the globe, not only revolutionizing dentistry but benefiting a huge breadth of other medical and veterinary fields as well.
Professor Brånemark’s work earned him a vast array of awards and plaudits from institutions all over the world. He held more than 30 honorary positions across Europe and the United States and counted the Swedish Society of Medicine’s Söderberg Prize among some of his most significant honors.
But those who met him were just as touched by his enthusiasm as by his shrewd mind. A gifted leader and teacher, he more than earned his title as the father of dental implants after a career that saw him inspire countless young scientists and dentists. His dedication to the impact and potential of the field he discovered is neatly summed up in his often-quoted comment: “No one should have to die with their teeth in a glass of water beside their bed.”
Professor Brånemark is survived by his wife, Barbro, his three children, and four grandchildren.