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Since their introduction over 40 years ago, dental implants have become an established treatment modality that had revolutionized the concept of replacing missing teeth. Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners has been considered a pioneer in computer-assisted implant dentistry. His first implant case was in 1988. According to Dr. Johnson, “The recent material of choice for manufacturing dental implants is commercially pure titanium, because of its excellent biocompatibilty and mechanical properties However, the gray colour of the titanium may be disadvantageous and give rise to esthetic problems, especially if the soft tissue situation is not optimal and the dark colour shines through the thin peri-implant mucosa. The profession has been looking for options to address this concern. Some implant companies are wrapping a pink material along the collar of the implant while others are developing ceramic implants.”
Zirconia ceramics (yttrium-stabilized tetragonal poly-crystals) seem to be a suitable material for dental implants because of their tooth-like colour, their excellent mechanical properties and their good biocompatibility. They have extensively been used as ball heads in total hip replacements with remarkable clinical outcomes. Recent animal studies have also shown successful bone healing of dental zirconia implants under both unloaded and loaded conditions. Dr. Johnson has been using zirconia to fabricate his dental crowns for many years without outstanding success. As the conventional fabrication of zirconia rods usually results in realtively smooth surfaces, only few studies have investigated rough surface modifications of zirconia implants. This is a critical aspect, since it has been already demonstrated that surface roughness and topography also influence osseointegration of zirconia implants.
A recent study by Rita Depprich, et al, in Head and Face Medicine, looks at the comparison of titanium and zirconia implants on pigs and concludes that, “zirconia implants with modified surfaces display features of osseointegration similar to those of titanium implants. These results are promising for using zirconia implants for dental applications in the future”.
“It’s still early in the game” according to Dr. Johnson, “but it may be available in the next few years after clinical trials are complete. Until then, titanium implants are sill the gold standard. ”
Original article: https://head-face-med.biomedcentral.com Artwork: www.southerdentalimplant.com
The risk of dying before reaching their mid-80s was 84% higher in men with a weaker bite than those with a stronger bite, the study found. The association was significant even when such factors as tooth loss and severe gum disease were included in the analysis.
No connection was found between jaw strength and long-term survival in women of the same age group.
Low bite force may be a sign of poor dental work, loss of teeth and this musculoskeletal decline that can ultimately lead to disability and death, the study suggests. Low intake of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can also affect oral health and increase people’s vulnerability to chronic disease, the researchers said.
The study, conducted in Japan, involved 559 people born in 1927, who were enrolled in a larger study in 1998. At the start of that study, the subjects underwent dental and medical examinations and reported personal information, such as diet, chewing ability and smoking habits, on surveys.
Dr. Johnson suggests that you see your dentist routinely and address factors that will influence your bite force. If you are wearing a removable prosthesis, consider implants as an adjunctive approach to improve your chewing ability…and this is likely to increase your life expectancy.
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