Professor Tomas Albrektsson was among the first to conduct research within the field of dental implants, in close collaboration with Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Now, 40 years after the initial discovery, Professor Albrektsson is actively promoting innovations based on osseointegration.
Although initially faced with resistance, Professor Brånemark introduced his innovation based on osseointegration, which in more general terms refers to the discovery that titanium integrates with living bone. As a result, titanium is ideal for dental implants, and the discovery has since it was presented in the late 1970s revolutionised dental care all over the world.
The growth of dental implants
The global use of dental implants has grown tremendously. As an example, several million dental implant operations were conducted in the USA during one single year (2008). The use of osseointegration has also created a large number of spin-off companies, today world-leading within their field.
Nobel Biocare is one such company, founded in Sweden based on Swedish research, now a global giant focusing not only on dental implants, but also on prosthetics, guided surgery solutions, scanners and biomaterials.
Astra Tech in Mölndal, development and production site located just a few minutes from Gothenburg city center, has also developed a range of products based on innovations originating from the discoveries made by Brånemark and Albrektsson.
Opts for Scandinavian partner
Professor Tomas Albrektsson is actively promoting research and innovations within his field, and has given over 1000 lectures all over the world on the subject of osseointegration and dental implants. “I am in fact booked up until 2013”, the professor reveals.
“The interesting part is the fast development within osseointegration. As early as 1981, we were able to present yet another innovation based on osseointegration, consisting of a bone anchored hearing aid. The innovation was thereafter developed by a local biotech company, Entific, later on sold to Australian Cochlear Ltd.”.
Based on the same techniques as used in the development of the Bone Anchored Hearing Aid, Albrektsson’s team has developed new types of hip joints. “We are currently looking for an industrial partner to develop our innovation, also hoping to keep this within Scandinavia if possible”, states Professor Albrektsson.