However, dental implants are not for everybody. The titanium screw of the dental implant is placed into the jaw bone, and when there is not enough jaw bone existent to support the implant, a bone grafting is need. Bone grafting is quite a complex surgical intervention, when the dentist will replace the missing jaw bone.
Patients who might generally not be eligible to receive dental implants are the seniors who struggle with osteoporosis complications, diabetics, heavy smokers, or patients who have had cancer.
Researchers from Universitat Jaume I from Castellon in Spain have designed a new type of dental implant coating made of biodegradable material, to help patients with bone density loss become eligible easier for dental implants. This special coating will help increasing the success rate of dental implants and also decrease the time needed for proper osseointegration.
Until now, the titanium screw which has been implanted to replace the root of the tooth needed about two months healing time. This new prototype of dental implant will reduce significantly the waiting time for healing and for the dental implant to be fused nicely with the jaw bone. Therefore, patients will be able to have the ceramic tooth cap part fitted much earlier and will have functional teeth within less time.
The main coordinator of the Polymers and Advanced Materials research group was Julio Jose Suay. He states that the special coating is made of biodegradable particles, which will dissolve when coming in contact with the bone.
As this degradation or dissolving process takes place, the material will start releasing special silicone compounds and plenty of molecules with bioactive properties, which will start activating the bone regeneration process much faster.
Up until now, patients with bone density loss received dental implants that were quite tougher, in order to make the bone integration process easier. The current research is still in its very early phase, with scientists looking to come up with the most efficient compounds that will give the best results.
Then, this phase will be followed by a clinical evaluation process so that researchers can obtain a material which will be approved by the most important health and safety organizations. It is foreseen that in approximately two to three years, the special dental implants for people with severe bone density loss will become available for use in the dentist’s office.
The main purpose of this research is actually to increase the success rate of the dental implants, especially for people with special problems such as bone density loss. If these patients will not get implants, the entire bite print will change, the teeth will become disordered and more empty spaces will be created.
These oral health issues in turn will bring about higher risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease and thus even more teeth will be permanently lost. Replacing teeth with dental implants in patients with bone density loss is extremely important from both a functional and an aesthetic point of view.