The first studies that I read on “root form” implants were done by Dr. P. I. Branemark, a Danish Orthopedic Surgeon. He first placed titanium root form implants in 1965. These implants were successful. In 1981, he partnered with Nobel Pharma to market his implant system. Unfortunately, at this time he only sold the implants to oral surgeons whom he had trained, and often the implants were in areas of good bone but could not be restored properly by the referring dentists. In 1982, Dr. Gerald Niznik, a prosthdontist, formed the Core Vent company that used a “root form” implant that he had developed and used prosthetic attachments that he had also developed. He gave courses in California so that the dentist could both place and restore the implant. I went to California to observe his surgeries and restorations. It was very apparent to me that this was the future of dentistry. It was also apparent that this was a developing field of dentistry and it was not ready to be a day to day procedure. There were just too many cases that were not treatable and I decided to wait and watch the field of implantology develop further. I referred a few cases to oral surgeons and restored them but the cases were just not smoothly done so I decided to wait and watch.
The next several years were tough years for me personally as both my mother and my mother-in-law were in a nursing home. In the nursing homes, I observed that the residents, who had had the finest dental work during their active lives, now seemed to be in the worst shape of all because they could not maintain their fixed crowns and bridges. To make matters worse, their caretakers did not adequately brush their teeth. The residents were in such fragile condition that we could not do extensive dental treatments to restore their teeth. Often, we could not even make them comfortable. This certainly changed how I treatment plan for people who are in their fifty’s and sixty’s. I now have to factor in that this patient has many years to live and I want to do a restoration that will serve them well and not put them in harm’s way when they are the most vulnerable. I now realized that all dental restorations have a life and I must think long term when I design a restoration.
My son, Herbert, came into the practice in 1995 after completing Dental School and a one year residency in Advanced General Dentistry at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dentistry. We discussed my feelings about the challenge of maintaining the dentitions of a population that is growing older. We went to Philadelphia to discuss this with his mentors at Penn. They agreed with us that dentistry as it had been done in the past was no longer going to be acceptable. They felt that he should study both the surgical placement and the restoration of implants. They felt that the best place at that time was the Implant Center of the NYU School of Dentistry. He applied there for a two year program in Implant Dentistry. After completing his training, he was asked to join the faculty. He is currently serving as a senior faculty member at the NYU School of Dentistry’s Implant Dentistry Center. For 17 years, he has been totally committed to learning everything he can about total patient care in implant dentistry. We are convinced that an implant is the best possible replacement for a missing tooth. We have done our utmost to keep abreast of all the advancements that have and are taking place in the field of implant dentistry. Last year, Herbert became a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantology. This is in recognition of his academic, teaching, and clinical skills. Both of us are quite proud of this achievement.