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Vol. 71, No. 5
ISSN: 1488-2159
May 2005


The Impact of Oral Implants — Past and Future, 1966–2042


• Tomas Albrektsson, MD, PhD, ODhc •
• Ann Wennerberg, DDS, PhD •

A b s t r a c t

This paper traces the history of oral implants, beginning with their early undocumented use in the mid-1960s. Although early experimentation with the Brånemark system of osseointegration was unsuccessful, significant improvements and scrupulous documentation of the 1970s led to their general acceptance. George Zarb spearheaded their introduction into North America and application of the osseointegration technique soon expanded to extraoral craniofacial prostheses and bone-anchored hearing aids.

New possibilities, such as altered surface properties and the use of implants in grafted and irradiated bone are currently being explored, although commercial pressure to introduce new products before they are adequately tested is a cause for concern.The future will see bioactive surfaces and additives that stimulate bone growth. In fact, with the possibility of in vivo growth of new teeth, implants may become unnecessary.


MeSH Key Words: dental implantation/endosseous; dental prosthesis, implant-supported; quality of life
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