During the late eighties a number of concerned scientists, teachers and clinicians met in Munich at the invitation of Prof. P.-I. Brånemark following a clinical meeting on osseointegration.
They were of the opinion that many scientific meetings in the emerging field of osseointegration were being unduly influenced by commercial companies and were often organised by societies with little or no academic or scientific background. It was clear that the necessary critical mindset towards the use of endosseous implants was mostly absent as signified by the term "implantology" and that the use of implants could become an end in itself rather than the means by which a successful rehabilitation could be achieved.
The meeting concluded that it was timely to form a European association -the EAO- that would serve as a critical forum for renewed an innovative scientists and clinicians to present their work on scientific and clinical aspects of reconstructive surgery and prosthetic rehabilitation. The scope was widened to cover all medical and dental diciplines involved in osseointegration ranging from orthopedics to periodontology and maxillo facial reconstruction, and from ENT to radiology.
The steering committee at the foundation consisted of W.Bolz (D), G.P. Cordioli (I), P.O. Glantz (S), D. Harris (IRL), R. Johns (GB); J.F. Tulasne (F), J. Pi Urgell (E), E.G. Winkel (NL) and D. van Steenberghe (B).
The latter was elected as the first President of EAO and organized the first annual meeting in Leuven in 1992, which gathered some 560 people from 26 countries. The next year D.Harris was elected president and P.-I. Brånemark joined the committee. The secretariat was originally located in Brussels, but was later trasferred to Munich, where it would be taken care of by W. Bolz until the year 2000. It was then transferred to London at the Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London. After Leuven, annual meetings took place in Barcelona, Malmö, Dublin, Paris, Berne, Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Milan.
In recent years the number of attendees became impressive. The last congresses have attracted more than 3000 participants. Although important shifts were noted according to the host country, membership grew progressively to more than 1000 now.
In 1993 the board decided to appoint the Clinical Oral Implants Research as the official journal of the association. A board member was already acting as associate editor. The journal achieved a number 3 for the impact rating for "dental" journals and number 1 for biomaterials. This joint venture gave an important impetus to the development of EAO. Between the annual meetings there was now a medium to communicate and to keep members updated on new developments.
In the early years the multidisciplinary was favored and the inspiring role of P.-I. Brånemark should be recognized in this.
The impact of EAO on the clinical applications of osseointegration and on the initiation of new research routes cannot be overrated. The careful scrutiny of the scientific committee has ensured a high scientific standard at the meetings and eliminated glossy presentations without substance. Scientific program content has also carefully remained independent of any influence from commercial sponsors. The distinction with other international meetings remained in this respect. Extra-oral applications became a marginal point of interest at the annual EAO meetings over the years, although this was one of the aims of the founding members. The board meets twice a year and a council defines strategic viewpoints. The general assembly allows good interaction with membership.
1991-1992: Daniel van Steenberghe (BE)
1992-1993: Juan Pi Urgell (ES)
1993-1994: Per-Olof J. Glantz (SE)
1994-1995: David Harris (IE)
1995-1996: Jean-Francois Tulasne (FR)
1996-1997: Daniel Buser (CH)
1997-1998: Hubertus Spiekermann (DE)
1998-1999: Klaus Gotfredsen (DK)
1999-2001: Sascha A. Jovanovic (NL/USA)
2001-2003: Massimo Simion (IT)
2003-2004: Georg Watzek (AT)
2004-2006: Franck Renouard (FR)
2006-2008: Friedrich Neukam (DE)
2008-2010: Christoph Hämmerle (CH)
2010-2011: Paul Stone (UK)
2011-2012: Søren Schou (DK)
2012-2014: Pascal Valentini (FR)
2014-2016: Bjorn Klinge (SE)
2016-2018: Alberto Sicilia (ES)