BEYOND JUST IMPLANTS:
-Innovation technology and research
Innovation, and technology need to be in sync with research and development and this R&D is motivated by demands and needs / wants of dentists and patients alike. Just being back from the IDS, Cologne we implantologist were anxiously looking for any major implant manufacturer who has dared to take on the zirconia implant adventure. Their presumed biocompatibility and excellent aesthetic shade would make these implants highly desirable in the esthetic zone, provided they can withstand functional loading.
We are facing an almost endless proliferation of synthetic bone replacement materials today. Some materials serve as placeholders for natural bone formation, while other types of materials are designed to replace autologus bone grafts. How well proven and how successful are products such as procine collagen matrix straight from the pack designed to replace autologus connective tissue grafts in covering recession and augmented soft tissue ?
In addition to these developments in dental materials , new digital devices are coming more and more into focus with dentists – in diagnostics and therapy alike. Products range from 3D x ray units and computer guided implant placement all the way to optical scanners replacing conventional impression taking and even automated dental technology procedures.
CAD- CAM procedures for manufacturing implant supported restorations include opto – digital processes that dispense with plaster casts altogether. Single session chairside restorations using scanner technology could be the future. Custom components which now require manual fabrication could be produced this way.
Doubtlessly recent innovation within oral implantology has now been driven in large part by scientific progress and by the products developed by the dental industry. Prompted by an ever increasing demand by dentists and their patients, new products , new processes and improved therapeutic methods have been brought into the market for many indications – from new approaches to bone augmentation and novel procedures in laser technology to newer materials , not least the already familiar zirconia. Coming from a high level of achievement and extremely high success rates compared to other medical procedures, ever better results and shorter treatment times are not easy to attain. There are limits as to what nature will allow us to do. In the light of this realization, it is all the more important for dentists and implantologists to avail themselves of opportunities for continuing education – to keep up with technical innovations and new materials, for the benefit of patients and their own.
-Prof. Dr. Vikas Gowd
M.D.S., FICO oral and maxillofacial prosthodontist and implantologist