Technology is shaping the future of dental implants, and the possibilities for innovations are endless. In the United States alone, over 100 million people are missing at least one tooth. Dental implants are predicted to be worth over $4.4 billion dollars globally by 2020. Due to this growing number, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest techniques and devices used in oral implantation. In the next few decades, with modern technology and advanced clinical procedures, we will see improved diagnostic care, precision in treatment planning, and faster healing time. Continue reading for a glimpse of technological advancements that will define the future of dental restorations.
Robot-Assisted Dental Implants
Robot-assisted dental implant surgery will soon be the standard of care for implant procedures. A Miami based company, Neocis, recently introduced Yomi, the first robotically assisted dental surgical system. The technology assists dental surgeons with 3-D surgical planning and guided surgical placement of dental implants. In many cases, it also supports same-day, minimally invasive flapless dental implant procedures.
Yomi’s software is used to plan individualized implant procedure based on a patient’s CT scan. Yomi controls the direction of the drill and assists dentists with the location, depth, and orientation of the implants. “Robotic assistance is becoming standard care across surgical disciplines, and we at Neocis are excited to bring robotic technology to By Design Dental and their patients with Yoni,” said Alon Mozes, PhD, Neocis co-founder and CEO.
Recently, in China, a robot safely installed two dental implants in a patient by following a set of pre-programmed commands. The procedure was supervised by dentists who did not actively participate in the procedure.
Introduction of Antimicrobial Agents
In today’s dental world, the leading cause of implant failure is oral microbial infection. In an effort to eliminate bacterial biofilms, researchers have begun developing dental implants containing a reservoir that slowly releases antimicrobial agents. The implant is made of a porous titanium-silica composite material that allows drugs to gradually diffuse from the reservoir. Due to the diffusion process, bacteria cannot form a biofilm and thus cause infection. These implants will reduce the risk of infection and prevent implant failures in patients. These antimicrobial agents have incredible implications for preventing infection in all dental implants.
Stem Cells Replacing Dental Implants
Recent advancements in stem cell research are paving the way for stem cells to eventually replace teeth in patient’s mouths. Other species, such as sharks, have the ability to replace teeth in a few weeks. Scientists are using other species to discover how stem cells can be used to grow new teeth in an adult human. All humans contain stem cells in their teeth. Instead of throwing a tooth out after an extraction, dentists may be able to extract cells from the tooth to replenish itself. Due to the growing trend of people preserving their own teeth, it may become standard to store the stem cells held in patient’s teeth. Healthy human teeth contain stem cells and might pave the way for the future of dental implantology.
Who knows what dental implants will look like a century from now? The implications for the future are exciting! To learn more about how dental implants are evolving and to stay up to date on the latest cutting edge technologies, speak to a DDS Lab clinician today.