Though educational and technological advancements have lead to significant improvements within the dental industry, there is still more work that needs to be done. Currently, there are 3 million people in the U.S. with dental implants and that number is growing by 500,000 a year. Implant failures have resulted in even more dental issues for many patients, and industry professionals and researchers are constantly searching for ways to reduce these failures.
According to Science Daily, despite the majority of dental implants being successful, between 5% and 10% of all implants fail over time. There are various reasons for this failure, including mechanical issues, poor bone connection and implantation, and a few other factors that lead to oral rejection of the implant. The main reason for implant failure, however, is a destructive and inflammatory process that impacts the dental issues called peri-implantitis.
The American Academy of Periodontologystates that peri-implantitis can be found in individuals who smoke, are diabetic, or those with a history of gum diseases and poor immune systems, but anyone who gets a dental implant could still be at risk.
Researchers and scientists from the School of Engineering at the University of Plymouth and the School of Biological Sciences, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry have developed and begun studying the effectiveness of a new dental implantation procedure in hopes of reducing the risk or peri-implantitis and other dental failures.
“In this cross-faculty study we have identified the means to protect dental implants against the most common cause of their failure,” said Professor Christopher Tredwin, Head of Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry. “The potential of our work for increased patient comfort and satisfaction, and reduced costs, is great and we look forward to translating our findings into clinical practice.”
The research team created this new approach using various nanocoating combinations featuring silver, hydroxyapatite, and titanium oxide. Their findings, published in the journal Nanotoxicology, reduced the formation of bacterial biofilm (prerequisite for peri-implantitis) on the surface of dental implants by 97.5%.
“The significance of our new study is that we have successfully applied a dual-layered silver-hydroxyapatite nanocoating to titanium alloy medical implants which helps to overcome these risks,” added Dr. Alexandros Besinis, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering, University of Plymouth and leader of the research team.