Nanotechnology dentistry that helps fight and maintain health
New technology is continually being applied to dentistry and the results have been promising. One of the latest discoveries has been found while looking into ways to help ensure that a dental implant will heal successfully. Researchers are using high-tech dentures to overcome the problem.
The Key to Dental Implant SuccessAlthough dental implants have been used for some time now, there still are some occasions where oral surgery is not a success. As a general rule, in order to be successful, the gums must regrow up to the top of the implant, where a piece called the abutment is placed. This piece will hold the crown, once the healing is completed.
The actual implant is made of titanium, which is a biocompatible material. The bone and gums will attach to it naturally, unlike some other materials. When it does not heal all the way up to the abutment, this can leave a space for harmful bacteria to enter.
If the harmful bacteria successfully enter into the space, it forms a pocket in the gums and inflammation begins. From there, it can easily lead to inflammation in the jawbone, where it can spread. If that happens, the oral surgeon must evaluate it, and will likely remove it to prevent the further spread of inflammation. A re-implantation will often be tried once the inflammation has been removed. The failure rate with a second implant is often higher than with the first.
The High-Tech SolutionMost dental implants are successful. However, there is a failure rate for various reasons, and inflammation is one of the primary reasons. Researchers may now have found a high-tech solution.
In their research, an experimental grid was constructed on the nanotech level. It consisted of creating tiny grooves that were uniformly spaced. Each groove is smaller than the width of a single hair.
The grooves are designed to be able to guide the cells that help to heal a wound into the gums, but it will also keep out potentially harmful bacteria. It also has a surface that prevents the bad bacteria from attaching to it very easily. This enables the healing bacteria to have longer to provide healing, and hinders the ability of the bad bacteria from entering as quickly.
So far, the technology has only tested in the lab. Various types of bacteria were tested on the nanostructured a device, including E. coli and it has successfully worked. With fine tuning and more experimentation, clinical trials will be started in the future. Other uses of this technology can be seen already, including use in artificial joints, bone plates, and more.
About Dental ImplantsDental implants provide people with the most stable form of artificial teeth possible today. They have the strong advantage that they can last a lifetime and they also prevent bone loss. They also look like your natural teeth. Dentists have been installing dental implants since 1951. As many as 500,000 people get implants every year, and the number is growing.
An implant consists of three parts – the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant looks like a screw and it is made of titanium. It does not corrode. The abutment is placed on top of the implant, and it will hold the crown.
Another advantage of implants is that they can be used to replace one or more teeth – even all of them with a denture-like frame. It can be used to replace all of the lower teeth, all of the upper teeth, or all of them. When all of the teeth are replaced, the crowns are placed on a frame and may be supported only by four or more implants in the jawbone.
Types of Dental ImplantsThere are two types of dental implants. The one that places the implant directly into the jawbone is called endosteal – it is the most common type. The other kind is called subperiosteal, and it rests on the bone, but below the gums. This kind is used when there is not enough jawbone.
Best Candidates for ImplantsCandidates for teeth replacement using dental implants need to have good health and good oral health – no gum disease. There also needs to be a good amount of bone and gums, but surgery can build up both beforehand if necessary.
When a periodontist installs an implant, time is needed for healing to be completed. The bone and gums need to grow around the implant and attach to it. This step generally takes from three to six months, and then a permanent crown is put in place. Some dentists will perform implants in a day, but it depends on the amount of bone that is present – and it still takes time to heal.
A Low Tech Way to Keep Your TeethInstead of focusing on the high-tech nanotechnology that appears to be on the horizon, it is better to focus on how to keep the teeth you already have. Brushing twice a day and flossing will help you to keep your teeth a lifetime.
If you need to consider tooth replacement options, and live in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas, you can learn more about dental implants from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. He also performs cosmetic dentistry and many other dental services. For more information, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office today at (817) 756-8578.