Fifty years ago, Gösta Larsson of Gothenburg, Sweden, was an oral invalid. Osseointegrated implants, carefully inserted by Brånemark, would dramatically and forever change his life in 1965, and would do so permanently.
“I never felt any hesitation. Gösta had a great need, one that I felt we could meet, and so we got started.”— Per-Ingvar Brånemark
Twenty-five years later, in 1990, his final implant helped him to overcome hearing loss, when he received a bone-anchored hearing aid, a new application of osseointegration at that time. From the moment Per-Ingvar Brånemark realized the need to scale-up implant production, the sequence of companies that would culminate in Nobel Biocare have stood for unique original research, excellent system quality, thorough clinical trials and reliable customer service.
The picture above was taken half-way between Larsson’s original surgery and the golden anniversary we’ll be celebrating next year. The bandage that protected the surgical wound for his new hearing aid is clearly visible in this photo. Just a few months after it was taken, he enthusiastically contended that it would be difficult for me to find a more satisfied patient—and he was right!
Gone, but not forgotten
Per-Ingvar Brånemark’s patient number one, Gösta Larsson, is no longer with us. He died in 2006—more than forty years after his initial osseointegration surgery, with all of his implants still in place and functioning well. Patient number two, Sven Johansson, who we featured in Nobel Biocare News 1/2012, is still with us, however, and will be celebrating 48 years with his Brånemark System implants next year. No one on the planet has had osseointegrated oral implants longer.
Despite the fact that Nobel Biocare delivers considerably more advanced implants today, the straight-walled, external hex implants that both men received have demonstrated remarkable staying power over the decades. Nobel Biocare has a proud tradition of supporting all the company’s implants indefinitely. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that the original Brånemark System prosthetic components are still available today for restorative upgrades.
The keys to longevity
As Sven Johansson’s current dentist, Christer Dagnelid points out, to ensure longevity, you need to combine high-quality Nobel Biocare products and skilled clinicians with good teamwork and an individualized recall system.
“The experience we have gained since Gösta Larsson and Sven Johansson were first treated by Professor Brånemark,” says Dagnelid, “has taught us that good implant-related dental care must be based on a long-standing relationship between the patient and dentist, where the number and frequency of return visits are tailored to the different stages of life.”
Per-Ingvar and Gösta—through one man’s insight and the other’s boldness, they have helped millions of orally handicapped people return to a life of dignity over the last half-century.