Advances in Dental Implant Technologies

surgically installed dental implantsWith all the advances in dental surgery, you’d be surprised to hear that there’s a lot to chew on!

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 Brenemark, 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.

Tilt Slab – A New Method means Faster Construction and Lower Costs

When it comes to big dollar industries like mining and construction, small improvements in efficiency can lead to massive overall savings. A recent advancement in concrete construction has helped to collectively save millions of man-hours on construction work and is reducing the costs of building commercial and large-scale residential projects around the world.

Tilt slab construction; also known as tilt up or tilt up slab is a relatively new technology when it comes to building with concrete. The slabs are manufactured on-site on a horizontal concrete slab. Once the concrete has cured the large solid panels are “tilted” to sit in their vertical positions using a crane and held there until other supporting panels or structural components are put into place.

Tilt slab panel being erectedThis technology is gaining popularity due to its economic and time benefits and is now being utilized regularly throughout North America, Australia and New Zealand. Many other areas of the world are embracing this new construction technology as well, however Europe and the majority of Asia have been slow on the uptake, and tilt slab construction is still fairly uncommon there.

One of Australia’s leading tilt up slab construction companies, Vati Projects, have been working on commercial developments using the technology since it was founded. We spoke with them about the benefits and problems associated with this sort of technology.

The biggest issue with tilt up is the need for significant organization and collaboration on the building site as the slabs are molded and positioned. In order for a tilt slab project to be completed successfully there are a number of steps that need to be taken. These are (in chronological order):

  1. Evaluation of the worksite
  2. Engineering
  3. Laying floor slabs and footings
  4. Construction of the tilt slab panels
  5. Placement of structural steel
  6. Embeds and inserts
  7. Placement of the panels
  8. Panel erection
  9. Finishing the panels

The completed panels can be extremely heavy, in some cases weighing as much as 150 tons. A skilled team of construction workers are always necessary to ensure the development and erection processes all run smoothly.

Early tilt-slab construction was boxy and boring, however newer methods have expanded the range of shapes and changed the aesthetic possibilities. As this technology improves even further we expect its use to increase throughout developing nations and into Europe reducing the cost of large commercial building.

For more information on tilt slab construction and its uses take a look at the variety of articles, case studies and photos at Tiltup.com.

Advancements in Tyre Design push China onto the World Scene

Long gone are the days when people would equate Chinese products with cheap quality goods. Following in similar footsteps to Japan and South Korea before them, who also built their manufacturing base on lower quality consumer goods, and improved their methods and technology over time to become world leaders in their various fields; China is in the process of building a new reputation for itself.

Low cost production has made China an export powerhouse, now the number one manufacturer and exporter on the planet. While this may have begun with counterfeit electronics, machines with cheap parts, technical and lighting equipment of dubious quality etc., this is no longer the case. Many large Chinese manufacturers have seen the benefit in creating higher-quality branded products and building their own reputation around the world to become leaders in their fields.

tyredesignIn no single industry is this more apparent than with Chinese tyres. A host of well-established firms as well as several relative newcomers to the field have seen the benefit in investing in research and development to boost technological innovation and give their brands an edge over the competition. Global tyre manufacturers like Michelin, Goodyear and Bridgestone have had to suffer a loss in marketshare as an onslaught of Chinese companies push their way onto the growing global market. Fueled by a booming domestic marketing the the ever-developing China and with continual investment back into R&D to upgrade performance, tyre design, and quality, these companies have made a huge impact on the world scene in a veritably short amount of time.

A few of the most notable Chinese tyre brands which you are sure to hear about in the coming years if you haven’t already are: Triangle Tire, who are now in the top 10 tyre manufacturers in the world and Durun Tyre, one of the largest Chinese tyre manufacturers who produce both car and truck tyres and have their DMack tyres used in the World Rally Championships.

These firms invest billions of renminbi each year into further developing their products, marketing, and global reach which is aiding in further increasing their marketshare. Smaller and less profitable tyre manufacturers in countries with higher taxes and labour costs are struggling to keep up with the Chinese powerhouses and their massive production capacities and we expect the Chinese to increasingly dominate the global market in the coming years.

While many foreign brands have moved their manufacturing facilities to China or other countries where taxes, labour and other production costs are cheaper, they are still unable to keep up with the Chinese firms and their massive and ongoing expansions. Several forward-thinking tyre brands saw the threat coming and have built partnerships with Chinese tyre companies to benefit from their growth and investment in research and development.

Well-known brands like Triangle Tire and Durun as well as lesser known Chinese manufacturers such as Windforce, Landsail and Aufine who strongly focus on continual R&D reinvestment are an perfect example of the way China is changing the way the world perceives their products. No longer will Made in China be seen as a negative, and these successful and innovative companies are the reason why.

New Zealand’s Newest Pest Control and its Potential for Use in Australia

In the lands across the Tasman where possums are considered an invasive species and not a protected one, a new technology has been born. The brainchild of the New Zealand based Goodnature team, The “Henry” possum traps are lightweight units that fire automatically to quickly and humanely kill the problematic animals. In a land where over 30 million possums run rogue, decimating native flora and fauna, the traps have been well accepted.

possumtrapThe lightweight traps automatically fire and reset 12 times; reducing labour costs compared to regular single catch possum traps. This enables more money to be allocated to the purchasing of more traps. The traps are toxin free, and are placed in trees or off the ground where possums dwell. They work by shooting a compressed gas powered, polymer piston into the skull of the animal. This action kills the pest immediately and humanely; the instant the trap is triggered. Once the animal has been struck, the piston retracts and the carcass of the deceased possum drops to the ground. The traps then reset themselves ready to lure in their next victim.

The traps were first tested in 2011 as part of a $4 million pest control initiative announced by the Green Party and the Government in 2010. “These traps are effective at killing possums and helping protect the birds and forests that New Zealanders love,” said Green Party conservation spokesman Kevin Hague.

Since their inception a few years ago the team at Goodnature have expanded their trap range to work on other pests including rats and stoats, and there is much more potential for further expansion. If it’s possible to create traps that can specifically target other pests, while not attracting or harming native and protected species then the sky is the limit.

We spoke with a possum removal expert from Brisbane about the potential for the traps in Australia. “Possums are a protected species in Australia.” She said. “So these specific traps would be illegal to use here. However there is definitely scope to expand the same technology to control other pests. If Goodnature could work out a trap that could target rabbits, foxes or even the cane toad, then they would sell like hotcakes!”

Rabbits were originally introduced with the First Fleet, and became a problem after an outbreak caused by an 1859 release. Since then they have cause untold billions of dollars damage to crops and land across much of Australia’s arable regions. Foxes were also release after European settlement, in the 1870’s. The reason for this was as a target for recreational hunters. The spread of foxes closely followed the spread of rabbits and today foxes are thought to have spread across most of the mainland south of the tropics and even as far as Tasmania. These pests are a problem because they prey on native wildlife and also farm livestock including calves, lambs, poultry, and goats.

The cane toad problem in Australia needs no introduction, with the story of their invasion and expansion being infamous around the globe. A trap that targets these pests specifically might be a bit more difficult than one for other animals though because there are so many other small animals, reptiles and amphibians that might also be lured into the traps.

In their current form, the Goodnature traps have been used as far away as Hawaii, Puerto Rico and even Sweden. While the current model rat trap already offers significant benefit to Australians in need of respite from pests of that nature that plagues our shores, if their technology can be expanded there is a bright future for it’s usage here to aid our endangered wildlife and frustrated farmers.