2013-02-05 06:50:59 - Bhalla Dental Clinic rounds up the latest developments in dental implant technology and practice in February 2013.
Improved Implant Tech for Patients with Low Bone Density
All patients are not eligible for dental implants—those with low or decreasing bone density, including seniors, osteoporosis patients, diabetics, chain smokers and cancer patients and others ran the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease because of improper osseointegration. To overcome this, such patients generally need to undergo bone grafting, i.e. reinforcing the jaw bone to support the titanium screws of the dental implant.
Further, the material that went into the dental implant was much tougher for these patients, leading to pain and increased healing time until the titanium screw fused with the jawbone. New research from Spain has thrown up a new design for the dental implant coating. This coating contains biodegradable material
with special compounds that release silicone and bioactive molecules. These enable faster osseointegration and bone regeneration. As a result, the ceramic tooth cap can be fitted much earlier in patients with low bone density. They can have fully functional teeth faster and with more comfort level.
This research is still in its initial phases and it will be two or three years before this technology reaches your dentist’s office.
US Food & Drug Administration moves to reclassify Blade Implants
The FDA said proposed moving Blade-form Dental Implants from Class III, which are of “high risk” and require premarket approval to Class II, which are of “medium risk” requiring premarket notification.
Blade implants are endosseous dental implants that were considered appropriate for patients with certain bone deficiencies who could not undergo bone grafting needed to accommodate a root-form dental implant. Though the restorative dentistry was done with quite quickly in such instances, there were cases of fibril integration instead of osseointegration.
The Branemark dental implants, which came into vogue in the late 80s, had high success rates across patients of all types. The FDA, which previously did not have sufficient evidence on the safety of blade dental implants, has now said that reports indicated few adverse effects in the use of such implantation procedures. It plans to apply special controls and design and performance testing to make sure that blade implants conform to clinical requirements.
This will create a new niche for dental implant practitioners and patients alike. Patients who lack bone width for implants in the posterior mandible need additional bone grafting from a dental surgeon, but this involves more time and cost. For these patients, the viability of bone implants can prove to be a good option.
I-CAT Imaging Technology
I-CAT is a 3D imaging technology that produces extremely detailed images of the jaw, teeth and soft tissues, allowing dentists to come up with precise treatment plans. I-CAT uses something called a “cone beam” to allow dental implant specialists to zero in on the exact angle and location of screws, implants, bone grafts and gum grafts.
Traditional dental X-rays and panographs are susceptible to a bigger margin of error because multiple images have to be taken while scanning a jaw line. With I-CAT, anything from a single tooth to the entire jaw line is reproduced in a single image, reducing time and costs. Further, it is a safe procedure. It produces less radiation that CT scans, and can be used in treating a larger extent of periodontal diseases.