Several years ago I decided to take a trip to the dentist after skipping multiple appointments for over 15 years. I truly had a dental anxiety and had a hard time getting over my fears. Thankfully, my dental visit went smoothly with only four cavities identified. What I did find from this dental visit was that there was a great deal of new information and technology that I had been missing out on. Laser-based technology and digital imaging are just a few examples. With this blog, I want you to understand that you can get over your fears and learn about this new technology like I did, so enjoy the information.
Since they arrived on the scene, dental implants have helped thousands of people restore the beauty and function of their smiles. Like most everything else in life, the technology continues to evolve and there are several advancements that promise to make dental implants easier, safer and faster to do. Here's a brief outline of a few of these improvements that may be coming to a dentist's office near you.
Bone Regenerating Implant Posts
One of the most important aspects of dental implant procedures is securing the post to the jaw bone. This is done by placing the post in position and waiting for the body to integrate it by growing bone around the implant. Unfortunately, many people are not good candidates for dental implants because they don't have enough bone and/or gum tissue to support the implant. This is typically due to gum and periodontal disease but can also be the result of issues related to genetics, age and lifestyle.
However, research conducted by scientists at Georgia Health Sciences University promises to improve bone growth so people that otherwise wouldn't be a good fit for dental implants can get in on the fun. They discovered a special protein that caused the mouth to produce more new bone in 4 weeks than bone grafting. According to previous research conducted by another team but lead by the same primary researcher, this protein causes stem cells to turn into bone-producing cells. The new bone also promoted regeneration of gum tissues. This technology is still in the testing stages.
Better Fitting Implants
The crowns that fit on top of dental implants work great when they are used for front teeth or incisors. However, things go a little bit awry when dental implants are used to replace molars in the back of the mouth. According to the founder of Grant Dental Technology Corp., the current screws used to hold the crowns causes gaps to form that allows food particles to accumulate in spaces that floss and toothbrushes can't reach. These particles attract bacteria that cause gum and periodontal disease, infections and other bodily problems.
However, the company appears to have developed a solution to this issue. It's developed an implant that features a rectangular base for the crown rather than a round one. This allows the crown to attach more tightly to the gums, preventing unwanted gaps from forming as well as stopping the crown from loosening during chewing. The company expects the new crowns will be available sometime in 2015.
Crowns While You Wait
3D printing has been used for a variety of medical marvels including allowing people in areas with limited healthcare options print prosthetic limbs for amputees. Now the power of 3D printing is showing up in dentists' offices all across the country. Specifically, specially designed printers are letting dentists produce crowns and dental implants right in their offices.
As it stands now, dentists have to create a mold of the replacement tooth and send it to an external lab that then makes the permanent tooth and ships it back to the dentist. This often means multiple appointments for x-rays and fittings and several weeks of waiting while struggling with a temporary crown.
Using a 3D printer, however, a dentist can produce a permanent crown in about an hour. This involves scanning the image of the tooth into a computer program that sends it to a machine that carves the new tooth from porcelain. Such availability reduces the impact of mistakes (instead of waiting weeks for a new tooth, the dentist could remake the crown that same day). It also reduces cost, which may translate into cheaper implants.
For more information about dental implants and the latest dental technology, contact a dentist near you.Share
22 January 2015