Conventional dental implants involve a procedure that lasts six months or more. The implant is placed, and allowed a period of six months to integrate with the bone and heal before it is crowned. Advancements in new dental implant technology have resulted in ‘immediate loading’, making teeth implants a one-day procedure.
Modern implant technologies have revolutionised the way tooth replacement is performed. Improvements in coating technology, advances in the shape and thread designs of implants and three dimensional scanning systems are some of the radical changes that are changing the way implants are done.
- Improvements in Coating Technology: New methods of coating technology have made it easier for dental implants to assimilate with the jawbone, thereby enhancing their stability and durability. One of the latest developments in the field involves the coating of dental implants with a bone material that is synthetic in nature. This helps the implant to incorporate better into the jaw bone.
- Three Dimensional Scanning System: A 3D dental CT scan uses Cone Beam Volumetric Technology (CBVT). It allows the scan to be performed with the patient in a sitting position, offering a clear view of where exactly the implant should be placed. The quality of the scanned image is excellent and the extent of the patient’s exposure to radiation is reduced.
- Tooth Implant Shape and Thread Designs Advancements: Implant thread design has a major impact on primary implant stability. Modern dental thread implant technology offers maximum primary contact, enhanced stability, increased surface area of the implant and easy integration with the bone without any stress. This advancement in implant technology minimises bone loss.
- Screwless Dental Implants: Another recent advancement is single tooth dental implantation without the use of screws. This novel technique offers a clipping mechanism to bond the abutment and the material of the crown.
Immediate Loading or Osseointegrated Implants
Osseointegration refers to the fusing of the dental implant into the bone. The success of new implant technology depends on effective osseointegration. Modern implants are made up of two parts – the implant proper or artificial that is surgically implanted in the jaw bone and held in place with tiny titanium screws, and an abutment which connects the root to the crown.
CT Scanning Technology
The 3D dental CT scan is used to image the mouth and the implant is then positioned appropriately. CT Scans enable cosmetic dentists to fully plan a complete tooth implant procedure before the dental surgery. The cosmetic dentist is able to view a detailed three dimensional image created by the scan from any direction possible through 360 degrees. With conventional techniques there was a need for the dental surgeon to detach the gum tissue from the root and jaw bone and use probes to accurately measure the thickness and density of the jaw bone. With this new dental implant technology there is no waiting period involved, the procedure is often referred to as ‘Teeth in an Hour’.
The Future of Tooth Implants
Recent advancements in the design of Teet implants and components used have enhanced the flexibility of the procedure so that the implant specialist to can customise it to suit the patient’s bone structure. Research carried out at the Medical Centre of Columbia University resulted in developing new dental implant technology which uses stem cells to grow a dental implant in the mouth. This technology is in the very early stages and the research showed that it was possible to grow a fully formed tooth in approximately nine weeks form the implant procedure.