It is estimated that 69% of adults between 35 and 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth, and 26% of adults will have lost all of their permanent teeth by the time that they are 74, according to The Implant Hub. This undeniably makes restorative dentistry in high demand. As it stands today, dental implants are the only permanent teeth replacement system available, and they are drastically superior to any other treatment option.
Just like other areas of dentistry, implant dentistry has seen remarkable advancements thanks to the integration and progression of technology. We’ve come a long way since the seashells and stones that were used to replace a missing tooth. With modern dental technology, today’s dental implants are even better than they were a decade ago. Dentists now use 3D Cone Beam scanning for more precise implant placement as well as computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD-CAM) to minimize the time between an extraction and a replacement tooth. But dental technology is still evolving, which means implant dentistry will continue to improve in efficiency, patient comfort/healing as well as overall outcome.
Here’s some insight as to what could be on the horizon in terms of dental implants:
While implants have a remarkable success rate, the most prevalent reason for their failure is oral microbial infection. This causes a bacterial biofilm to form over the implant and sabotage its success. However, scientists may have found a way to eliminate this infection risk. By using a special implant (made of porous titanium silica composite material) that contains a reservoir, a dentist will be able to gradually diffuse an antimicrobial drug to the implant to prevent bacteria from forming a harmful biofilm.
3D Printing to Rebuild Bone
3D printing is making great strides in the medical field. When it comes to implant dentistry, this innovative technology could drastically improve the way patients receive bone grafting. Bone grafting is often done when a patient does not have enough existing jaw bone to support an implant. In the future, a 3D printed hyperelastic bone (a combination of bioactive materials and polymers) could be used to build up the jaw bone in a way that is more flexible and porous than current bone grafting methods. These hyperplastic bones are less expensive, quicker and easy to make.
These are just a couple of the technologies you can expect in the future of implant dentistry. The hope is that dental implants will become more affordable, less invasive and more successful than ever before – which in turn helps more patients take advantage of this revolutionary option in restorative dentistry.