Like any other sphere of life, technology has also greatly impacted health care. And Australians are probably seeing more of such technological advances in use during regular visits to their dentist. More specifically, the use of technology in the field of dental implants is astonishing!
History of dental implants
More than 2,000 years ago, our ancestors in the Mediterranean, Middle Asia, and North and South America laid the foundation for dental implants. There is excavated evidence that ancient Egyptians used stones or carved sea-shells to replace missing teeth. Other discoveries, dating back to 600 AD, show that the Mayans also used dental implants effectively on their population.
It was not until World War II though that army doctor Dr. Norman Goldberg, and subsequently in 1948 in association with colleague Dr. Aaron Gershkoff, successfully produced the first sub-periosteal implant.
Dental implantology had its most important breakthrough in 1965 when an orthopedic surgeon from Sweden, Per-Ingvar Brånemark, placed the first Titanium (Ti) implant in a patient. With the US Food and Drug Administration approving the use of Ti implants, the world of implantology was set on a new course of innovation and discovery.
Technology used in implant surgery
The most significant technological breakthrough in implantology came in 1983, with the development of the Procera precision-guided CAD/CAM software by Dr. Matts Andersson. Today, technology is used at every stage in order to make dental implants safe and successful.
Brisbane, Queensland-based Teeth on Implants specializes in dental bone grafts, which requires a form of dental implant surgery to enhance bone density ahead of dental implants. Using latest medical technologies, dental surgeons are able to reconstruct jaw lines through grafting procedures such as Autogenous, Allograt,Xenograft and Alloplast.
Another area where technology has assisted in the successful deployment of implants is the restoration of gum lines. Alexandra NSW-based BioHorizons provides dental surgeons with breakthrough regenerative tissue technology called AlloDerm.
Using the latest in grafting technology, this surgical process helps restore the gum line in such a way that it addresses the challenge of gum recession and makes for a more desirable dental implant outcome. Alternately, soft tissue/diode lasers may be used to sculpt gum contours in advance of implant procedures.
New technologies that are used in dental implants
Technological revolution in engineering and bio-chemistry has made newer materials, used in manufacturing dental implants, available to dental implant designers. Today’s “bio-materials” are created to ensure better and more longer-lasting implant outcomes. Used in conjunction with other new-age materials, such as Titanium, they are also easier to use and produce lower-maintenance solutions for the patient.
Most dental implants involve careful pre-assessments before suitable procedures are prescribed. The use of x-ray and CT Scanning technology is paramount at this stage. Werribee,VIC-based Lentini Dental uses Digital X-Ray machines for intra-oral and extra-oral examinations, Intra-Oral Cameras and Diagodent (Laser Diagnostic probes) to assist in these pre-assessments and diagnostic efforts.
A New Wave – The Rise Of “All-On-4” Implants
Technological advances in dental implants have now also opened a new door for Australians who are missing a set of upper or lower teeth, and are grappling with the age old question: Dentures or Implants?
The solution: “All-On-4” implants.
The increasingly popular “All-On-4” implants are made possible thanks largely due to state of the art technologies perfected to support the procedure. 3D Computerised Tomography (C.T.) imaging technology, such as that used by Werribee,VIC-based Lentini Dental, enables dental practitioners to measure the density and quantity of a patients’ jawbone, allowing the planning of optimal treatment options.
These technologies also add never-before-seen precision in planning of “All-On-4” implants and, where needed, bone grafting procedures.