Coated Titanium Implants Revisited

During the late 80s and during the 90s we were introduced to various ceramic coated dental implants. I embraced this technology because it made sense. We placed many of these and many of you have been functioning on them for years. In fact, I have been placing dental implants for over 30 years and failure of these implants, as with all implants, has been rare. As technological advances progressed, it was discovered that a roughened surface on titanium improved the bond-interface between the implant and the bone. At that time, I switched over to the all titanium implant-because it made sense. And it did!

The Return of an Old Standby

Over the years, we rarely see failures and with the titanium surface, different from the ceramic implants, we have actually found that the maintenance of the bone height and tissue interface remains more stable on the roughened surface implants. Based on the history I do not believe that the ceramic implants do this as well. We are now seeing a return of the ceramic coated implants and I welcome this renew ed application of an “older” technology.

Solid Implants Despite Imperfections

Recently, I had to remove two implants from a patient’s lower jaw. These had been placed by another surgeon and the angulation was poor. It was encouraging to find how completely solid and bonded in the bone they were, even with bone loss and inflammation. And there were original machined surface implants which were the first type of implants that we used in the 1980s. The importance of this is that even though these implants were placed poorly, they were very solid and stable in the bone. I see dental implants as a permanent, very strong, and biologically very compatible replacement for teeth as well as an effective attachment for devices such as dentures and facial prostheses.

Ref: J Oral Maxillofac Surg 72:1928-1936, 2014-10-16

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