Increasing Predictability: The Evolution of Implants and Regenerative Materials
The widespread success of and demand for implants for missing teeth has “now become everyday practice in a forward-minded dental treatment plan,” observes periodontist Mark Spatzner, DMD, from Montreal, Canada. “Continued development in prosthetic options, the flexibility that can be found in the combination of implant treatment modalities and digital imaging, and advancements in technology are all contributing factors,” he continues.
Spatzner believes that a discussion on implants should nearly always be presented as a tooth replacement option to enable patients to make an educated choice for their own situation. “For example, in cases where three-unit bridges are being proposed, a single implant must also be presented, especially when in this case, cost is not a differentiating factor,” he explains.
An often-overlooked aspect of maintaining the health of the implant, and therefore its predictability, says Spatzner, is the development and presence of attached keratinized tissue. “It has been repeatedly documented in many studies that attached keratinize tissue is beneficial in maintaining the health of the implant prosthesis,” he maintains.
“This can be maximized using implant products and regenerative techniques that support this benefit,” he continues. “For example, the OsseoSpeed Profile implant from DENTSPLY Implants has been clinically proven to promote the development of attached keratinized tissue around the gingival margin of the implant restoration. The zone of attached keratinized tissue can be augmented using synthetic or natural tissues (eg, SYMBIOS PerioDerm, autogenous connective tissue), and in most cases, should be used to create the attached tissue prior to completion of the case.” He explains, “The predictability of osseous tissue regeneration has become a ‘naturally occurring’ event that is repeatable and predictable. With proper techniques and procedures, so much can be accomplished with allograft and membranes, which helps lay the foundation for a stable, esthetic, and predictable ‘osseointegrated unit’ that predictably maintains hard- and soft-tissue levels for the long-term.”
Spatzner finds that partnering with companies that support excellence in the practice as well as products is a crucial ingredient for achieving clinical success. “In my experience as a practitioner for over the last three decades, I have had the opportunity to deal with many different equipment, supply, and material providers. I can truly say without any embellishment that the corporate culture of the DENTSPLY Implants team and their attention to delivering product development and the ‘right stuff,’ which ultimately impacts the quality of patient care, is unsurpassed. The constant self-assessment and drive to evolve and improve upon their own products, instead of remaining complacent,is a sign of an entity that is forward-thinking and committed to excellence.”
He confirms that his own practice has benefited from the DENTSPLY Implants team’s willingness to help referral sources and to lend a helping hand to educate all members of the treatment team. “They effectively partner with me as I strive to reach my practice goals,” he asserts.
Spatzner is highly optimistic about the future of implant dentistry, especially now that so many improvements have already been achieved. “We have already come very far, and with continuing developments and advancements, I believe the future will offer even more predictability. The ability to prevent unforeseen problems before they happen makes implant treatment an even more viable solution for more partially and fully edentulous patients,” he claims.
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