When it comes to replacing missing teeth, there are lots of options, but dental implants are by far the best. Not only are they healthier than other tooth-replacement options, but they boast a remarkably low failure rate and can literally last a lifetime.
Even though dental implants are an excellent, reliable option, dental researchers continue to strive for perfection. Scientists are performing new research every day to further reduce the failure rate of dental implants, make implants more similar to real teeth, and reduce healing time. Here are some of the advancements in dental implant technology that you can look forward to seeing in the coming years.
New Dental Implant Materials
For decades now, titanium has been the metal of choice for prosthetics. It’s highly biocompatible, resistant to corrosion from bodily fluids, strong enough to withstand heavy use, and best of all, it’s capable of osseointegration, which means that bone can grow to it.
But titanium still lacks some features of real teeth. Researchers are doing their best to find alternatives that can provide a yet closer resemblance to our own teeth. So far, some options that show promise are antibiotic implants that use polymer to fight infection, 3D-printed implants to reduce the wait for perfectly shaped implants, and even implants encrusted with tiny diamonds to encourage bone formation.
Growth Factors Are More Available
Did you know that proteins from your own blood can be used to stimulate the regeneration of your bone and soft tissues? This technique uses plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) to help your body heal itself more effectively and quickly after surgery. Plus, since the growth factors are already from your body, you don’t have to worry about the growth factors being rejected or transmitting disease.
This technology has been available for some time now, but advances in technology have made the materials less expensive and easier to obtain. This means that you can expect to see growth factors like plasma and fibrin being used to encourage quicker, stronger osseointegration in dental implants for the average dental patient soon.
Sometimes big discoveries are made on a very small scale. This is absolutely the case with nanotechnology, which is any technology performed on a nanoscale. Recent research in this field has led to breakthroughs in nano-scale coatings and surface textures for implants to encourage implantation and decrease risk of dental implant failure. Some scientists are pursuing ceramic coated implants, which have resulted in faster healing and stronger osseointegration in animal trials. Others are pursuing hydrophilic coatings, which could promote closer contact between bone and implant. Some researchers are looking into textures surfaces that can interlock better with bone, and even allow bone to grow into tiny pores in the implant, creating a sturdier bond.
These technologies are still in the future, but even without them, dental implants are a great choice for replacing missing teeth. Call (407) 834-6446 to make an appointment with Orlando implant dentist Dr. Michael L. Weinstock to determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants.