The tech behind the success of dental implants

Dental implants are a fairly recent technology in the United States, though they have already been around for a few decades in Europe. And that is also one of the few reasons why the dental implants cost in the U.S. is higher than in parts of Europe.

The success rate of dental implants is around 97% at five years, and there has been a great deal of research done around the procedure and the materials used to ensure that success. The key factor in dental implants being as effective and successful as they are is the titanium implant that is inserted into the jawbone and – literally – bonded into the bone to create a base with the strength of an actual bone. Beyond this, there are  few other pieces of advancing technology that are to be credited for the success of dental implants –

The Implant Posts

Dental implant technology is rapidly advancing in light of the implant posts. The titanium posts were originally smooth and round in texture, and after a lot of research, researchers found that the posts having a certain texture on their exterior can significantly help the mending of the jaw bone and the titanium post. Additionally, the research being done now is related to antimicrobial coats for the titanium posts to prevent the risk of infections in the jaw bone and ultimately increasing the success rate of dental implants. Though we aren’t sure how this coating technology would affect the dental implants cost, it does sound quite promising. 

 

CAD Imaging

When it comes to dental implants, it’s crucial to keep in mind the biomechanics of each and every situation (since they are all different). Dental implants need to be engineered in a way to withstand the bite forces the way natural teeth do, because if they aren’t, the implant or the jaw bone can be damaged. This was a stressful factor for dentists until the Computer Aided Drafting Software began to be used which allowed dentists to see transparent imagery of their patient’s entire mouth including the jaw bone. The specific process is called taking a CT scan, which is commonly used today, but has dramatically impacted the success of dental implants.  

Mini Implants

For those who have lost most of their teeth, or even all of their teeth, now have the option of using mini implants. Mini implants are essentially regular implants that are smaller and are able to support dentures. This is especially beneficial for the elderly who suffer from bone loss as well and would risk unsuccessful procedures with regular sized implants. The smaller posts require less of the jawbone, and thus makes the implant surgery more successful for those with less bone. Lastly, the implants cost in this case would also make for more affordable dental implants.

Given that dental implants are still fairly recent, the implants technology has rapidly advanced –  and we can expect it to continue advancing as researchers continuously work to increase the success rate of the dental implants procedure.

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