September 2013, Volume 34, Issue 8
Published by AEGIS Communications
Dentists Attest to Straumann Playing Major Role in Implant “Revolution”
As experts in the field, private practitioners Robert J. Vogel, DDS, and Paul A. Fugazzotto, DDS, have a special perspective on the implant “revolution.” Vogel, who lectures internationally on implant dentistry and whose Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, practice is devoted to implant prosthetics and reconstructive dentistry, says many advances have come together to lead this revolution over the past 10 years and have contributed to increased predictability with improved patient care.
“Long-term success rates have surpassed many of the routine procedures done in dentistry for years due to improvements in products and surgical technique,” Vogel asserts.
His colleague, Fugazzotto, who maintains a private practice in periodontics and implant therapy in Milton, Massachusetts, and is Senior Editor of Implant Realities, notes that such improved success rates are evident in numerous studies that demonstrate short- and long-term survival and success rates at least equal to those of natural tooth treatment alternatives. “Thirty years ago, the Harvard Implant Conference offered an 80% implant survival rate after 10 years as an acceptable treatment outcome. Today, conscientious and informed clinicians find a 95% implant survival rate unacceptable,” he offers.
Both Vogel and Fugazzotto credit Straumann, a leading provider of solutions in implant dentistry, with impacting many of the crucial advances. “Straumann has been devoted to research and development for more than 30 years and is an innovator of many technologies clinicians use today,” says Vogel. Among them, he says, is surface technology, such as the SLActive® macro- and micro-roughened hydrophilic surface, which is designed for shorter healing times compared to SLA®. Another innovation from Straumann cited by Vogel is the Roxolid® implant, an advanced titanium-zirconium alloy designed specifically for implant dentistry. This product, he points out, demonstrated higher tensile1 and fatigue2 strength when compared to Straumann titanium implants.
Fugazzotto is a proponent of considering implant-supported prostheses as the standard of care for the edentulous arch at this time. “Whether discussing a two-implant-retained overdenture, a four- or five-implant-supported palateless removable prosthesis, a hybrid prosthesis with five to seven implants, or conventional fixed bridge work on six to 10 implants, appropriately performed implant reconstruction is the most ideal therapeutic option for any patient who is a good surgical candidate,” he says. However, he cautions, optimal results depend on the use of “appropriately performed implant therapy,” which, he explains, demands thorough examination and diagnosis, appropriate case workup, formulation of a comprehensive treatment plan, regenerative therapy as necessary, and use of state-of-the-art materials and techniques. Both Fugazzotto and Vogel stress the importance of training. “A significant amount of time and effort are spent in my practice on education, and I lecture and provide training courses globally,” says Fugazzotto.
According to Vogel, Straumann shares the practitioners’ emphasis on the use of properly performed therapy through training. “They have been an industry affiliate of the International Team for Implantology (ITI), which has become a worldwide leader in formal, scientifically based education as well as funding of university-based research,” he says. “Together [Straumann and ITI] provide hundreds of non-biased educational programs yearly, and Straumann offers a variety of comprehensive programs dedicated specifically to the needs of clinicians for every level of their practice.” In addition, Straumann territory managers are available to provide in-office training across specialties and to every staff member.
Fugazzotto notes several challenges to the field of implantology in the coming years, including to further improve survival rates and reduce complications, to continue to seek education and training in technical advances, and to “withstand the temptation” to choose products based solely on cost. Vogel’s wish list includes offering implants more affordably and more readily, “not as an alternative, but as an ideal treatment option.”
Vogel marvels at the transformation of dentistry. “We’ve gone from the ‘Golden Age’ to the ‘Titanium Era,’ where we can give our patients more confidence in dental procedures.”
Straumann, the two practitioners agree, has played a major part in this transformation.
1. Norm ASTM F67 (states min. tensile strength of annealed titanium)
2. Data on file
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