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

Posted on May 28, 2014

Chicago, May 14, 2014 –In celebration of its 30th year, the Academy of Osseointegration (AO) recently released a new video on YouTube in which experts and founding members convey the birth and evolution of both the organization and implant dentistry itself. The 20-minute video, “The Founding History of the Academy of Osseointegration,” can be viewed on AO’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/OsseointegrationAO/featured) and will be a useful tool for dental schools, study clubs, and resident instruction and recruitment programs.

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

“The board wanted to have an account—directly from the original doctors—about their experiences and challenges in founding the Academy,” said Dr. Alan Pollack (New York, NY), leading member in charge of the Founders’ Video Task Force. “We believe sharing these stories will be invaluable to the continued evolution and growth of our science.”

From small conclave to global organization

In May 1982, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark introduced osseointegration to North America at a conference in Toronto, Canada, sparking much interest and enthusiasm and creating ripples throughout the dental community. Proponents of the new science were determined to improve the success rate of implants, which had been only about 50 percent until that time.

After learning of this new technique, Dr. Charles Berman and Dr. Gerald Barrack formed the New York Osseointegration Study Group, described in the video as “a small conclave of friends with a shared passion to understand and share knowledge about this new science.”  This group evolved into AO, as it known today.

“We were going to have to learn from each other,” said Dr. Barrack in the video regarding 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 and the surrounding areas. This original study group expanded into a national organization and then into the international organization with approximately 6,000 members from 70 countries. The Academy has the same focus today as it had in the 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 important page in the history of dentistry and to chronicle the Academy’s rise to the world’s leading dental implant organization. In fact, the development of osseointegrated implants parallels the growth of the Academy itself,” said Dr. Norton in the video’s conclusion. “The Academy has been the centerpiece for sharing knowledge and the interchange of new ideas since our first meeting.”

The video is an oral history to accompany the written account, “A History of the Academy of Osseointegration, 1985-2007,” published in 2008.

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