September 2010, Volume 31, Issue 7
Published by AEGIS Communications
BioHorizons Advances Implant Technology with Laser-Lok 3.0
Cary Shapoff, DDS, a periodontist in Fairfield, CT, has been using Laser-Lok® implants for 10 years and lectures for BioHorizons. “Success for me with implants is not only having the implant stay within the bone, but it’s also having the esthetic result remain stable over time,” Shapoff says. “Because we are doing a lot more implants in the esthetic zone, soft-tissue stability is critical. I’ve seen incredible tissue health and retention of crestal bone for the long term with the Laser-Lok technology.”
Shapoff adds, “The focus of the future is going to be not only in implants, but also in site development materials and techniques, with grafting and other regenerative materials, such as MinerOss® cortical & cancellous chips and AlloDerm® Regenerative Tissue Matrix. There will be advances that are going to allow sites to develop better and faster in cases where there has been extensive bone loss or damage from abscessed and failed teeth. I think it’s going to allow people to have implant dentistry done in better, more improved sites, with enhanced stability—and again that translates to a better clinical outcome for our patients.
“BioHorizons not only provides a very useful implant—their line of products reflects a number of technological advancements, some of which only they offer,” Shapoff says. “I think that with the Laser-Lok 3.0 implant, the 3inOne abutment, numerous restorative options, and a variety of regenerative materials—this full range of products allows the clinician to do things for patients that weren’t possible years ago.”
According to Boyd Peters, Director of Implant Marketing, “As technology and treatment options expand, the focus of R&D has also been changing. One of the evolutions of implant dentistry is the shift from survivability to esthetics. With the occasional exception, the vast majority of implants now have excellent survivability. So the goal has expanded to include making implants look and behave like natural teeth throughout their lifetime.”
The challenge is the esthetic area of the mouth, where achieving a natural look can be difficult. “Not only are these places the most visible in the patient’s mouth, but most of these sites are extremely small,” Peters explains. “Typical implant restorations can be very difficult because there is just not enough room to work.”
To address these issues, the company recently launched the Laser-Lok 3.0 implant. “It’s a narrow-diameter implant (only 3 mm), so it is designed to fit in small sites,” Peters says. “Because it is made of titanium alloy, rather than pure titanium, it is extremely strong at that size—we’ve done extensive fatigue testing to verify its durability. This gives the dentist a unique implant that is designed specifically for tight spaces. Also, on the esthetic front, we offer an extremely wide number of prosthetic options to address all the circumstances that a clinician might face.”
The new 3.0 implant incorporates BioHorizon’s proprietary Laser-Lok surface technology. “This is the fourth implant that we have launched with this technology, and we’re very excited to have this addition to our product line,” Peters says. “With this surface, when the clinician places the implant, along with great osseointegration, it promotes a unique biologic response beyond osseointegration. The Laser-Lok surface causes the soft tissue to attach to the implant, which keeps the epithelium from growing down the sides of the implant and eliminates the possibility of fibrous encapsulation.”
By establishing a connective tissue attachment around the top of the implant, the surface stabilizes the tissue level, so that over time, the shape of the tissue will remain the same, which maintains the esthetics. “It also basically creates a biologic seal above the bone,” Peters says. “This seal protects the healthy bone from bacteria. As a result, the bone level is maintained near where it was the day the implant was placed. Clinical studies have been published showing long-term maintenance of bone and tissues with Laser-Lok.
“When we talk about technological advances in implantology, many are designed to make implant placement and restoration less complicated,” Peters explains. “If we make it easier by offering new technology such as treatment planning software, then there’s a greater pool of dentists and specialists out there who are able to do these procedures—while also expanding the number and types of cases that can be tackled. More complex cases suddenly become a little simpler, and the simpler cases become predictable. All of these different technological tools are focused on evolving or shortening the learning curve associated with placing and restoring implants.”
BioHorizons offers “a tremendous amount of educational support,” Peters says. “Here in the US alone, we support between 30 and 70 CE events each month, from a local study club up to our annual symposium with about 1000 attendees. We also support a lot of different implant institutes around the world, where clinicians can learn about the science and technique behind placing implants in a controlled, hands-on environment. We put an enormous amount of time and effort into working with our key dentists to make sure these educational experiences are as realistic and as informative as possible, so that dentists leave these programs with a good working knowledge.”
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