September 2011, Volume 32, Issue 7
Published by AEGIS Communications
BioHorizons®: Fostering Enhanced Esthetic Outcomes
Founded in 1994, BioHorizons® is a dental implant company whose product line is based on research conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Over the past 17 years, BioHorizons has become one of the largest and fastest-growing dental implant and tissue regeneration companies in the world, with sales in over 85 different markets.
"Dental implants are one of, if not the most, exciting areas of medical technology," says Steve Boggan, President and CEO of BioHorizons. Boggan believes that the industry will experience robust growth in the next decade, citing three market factors. "The aging of the global population will contribute greatly to the need for implants," says Boggan,"There is also a clear superiority of dental implants compared to bridgework and dentures, and a vast under-penetration of the market in most developed countries. It is only a matter of time before implants take off like we've never seen."
Boggan points out that market penetration of implants will greatly increase due to patient awareness and continuing education of dentists. "As an example, it is estimated that approximately one-half of the 130,000 dentists in the United States do not routinely offer implant therapy to patients with missing teeth," says Boggan, who claims that improved access to implant education will drive increased adoption of implants in the coming years. Boggan adds, "Independent market analysts project a 12% to 14% growth rate for dental implants resulting in approximately a $6 billion global market in 2015."
Even now, implants are a widespread treatment option for a variety of restorative procedures. Implant technology has evolved to make the dental implant process simpler, easier and faster for the patient. Due to technological advances, today many dental implants can be immediately loaded such that patients receive a non-functional restoration on the same day as the surgery. That said, complications such as marginal bone loss and soft tissue recession remain common in many cases.
BioHorizons developed Laser-Lok technology over 20 years ago to address these complications. Laser-Lok was studied extensively starting with cell culture studies and then moving on to animal and human clinical investigations. In fact, there are now over 25 publications demonstrating the ability of Laser-Lok to prevent epithelial down growth, create a connective tissue attachment and retain crestal bone. This is because Laser-Lok was designed with a series of precision-engineered cell-sized channels laser-machined onto the collar of the implants. These micro-channels result in Laser-Lok being the only surface treatment shown to attract a physical connective tissue attachment on the implant market.
BioHorizons is a company that was founded, and is still run, by biomedical engineers who are always looking to innovate implant technology. Laser-Lok is only one of many cutting-edge products being offered by BioHorizons, and Boggan is quick to mention some of the design aspects that make BioHorizons' implants unique. "All of our dental implants feature thread designs that load the peri-implant bone in compression," says Boggan. "It is well documented that bone responds favorably to compressive load and poorly to shear load. Compressive load leads to favorable short- and long-term bone response for predictable patient outcomes." BioHorizons' compressive thread design makes BioHorizons' implants result in a high primary stability and excellent clinical outcomes in immediate load situations.
Another way that BioHorizons is looking to revolutionize the implant market is through producing predictable narrow diameter implants. The Laser-Lok 3.0mm Implant is uniquely designed for placement and restoration for congenitally missing lateral incisors and mandibular incisors. "Despite its small diameter, it can be placed with confidence given the long-term documented success thread design and high fatigue strength," says Boggan, "Furthermore, the Laser-Lok zone enhances esthetic outcomes by limiting bone loss and epithelial down growth."
In addition to technological advances, all BioHorizons bone-level implants, with the exception of Laser-Lok 3.0, are available with an included gold-hued esthetic abutment, which serves as a delivery mount, impression coping and final abutment. "This packaging configuration, conceived by BioHorizons in the late 1990s, provides savings of 35% to 50% over other implant brands that do not include an abutment with the implant. We want to able to provide an excellent product for clinicians and their patients on every level," says Boggan, who also mentions that all BioHorizons implants have been extensively studied in long-term university trials and come with a lifetime warranty.
Also available from BioHorizons is its VIP Treatment Planning Software. Exclusively developed for clinicians, VIP is an innovative and user-friendly treatment planning solution to help deliver a predictable surgical outcome. VIP totes interactive 2D and 3D treatment-planning options, which allows clinicians reliable analysis and diagnosis of the patient's anatomy. The 2D and 3D planning options also allow the clinician to clearly communicate the goal of the implant treatment to patients and the implant treatment team with little trouble. The software has an open implant platform designed for cross implant compatibility, imposing fewer limitations on the clinician.
"The integration of digital treatment planning for diagnosis and the use of surgical templates gives clinicians the confidence to perform implant procedures safely and effectively," says Boggan.
BioHorizons also offers to its customers a vast network of product support specialists located throughout the US and the company's other 85 markets. BioHorizons designed the network to support the surgical and restorative needs of its customers.
Beyond its support network, BioHorizons is greatly invested in continuing education, and offers courses all over the world that help clinicians keep up-to-date with current implant technologies. BioHorizons also often hosts implant symposiums, including the Asia Pacific Symposium, which will take place in China at the end of September. The symposium, the latest in BioHorizons' series, will be a continuing education meeting with some of the industry's top thought leaders, sharing a wide range of dental implant controversies and tissue regeneration treatment options.
Boggan is very enthusiastic about the future of implant dentistry, as well as BioHorizons' role in it. "The utilization rate of dental implants will significantly increase in the future due to expanding technology, increased education of general dentists and the aging of the global population," says Boggan, "BioHorizons is committed to working with our clients on educational opportunities and practice development to build their practices. Our customers can rest assured that they are using the highest quality and most innovative implant solutions coupled with excellent service and an outstanding value proposition."