Dental implant is an artificial tooth placed inside one’s jaws to replace a tooth lost due to an injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. According to American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) 15 million of the population have crown or bridge replacements. Moreover, three million of the people have dental implants, with the number rising by 500,000 every year. Also, AAID has predicted that the dental implants market in America and Europe will increase to $4.2 billion by 2022.
Reasons of Dental Implant Failure
Dental implants are successful treatments, yet 5 to 10 percent of them fail, as per a research carried out in 2005. The reasons for its failure include:
- Mechanical problems
- Weak connection with the bones in which they are implanted
- Infection or rejection
- Peri-implantitis. This is the most important reason and it involves destruction of the surrounding soft and hard tissues by inflammation. Peri-implantitis is caused by the biofilms, which are formed from the pathogenic microbes in mouth and oral cavity that protects them and boosts growth, being developed on dental implants.
How to Reduce Dental Implant Failure
A research team consisting of scientists from School of Biological Sciences, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Engineering at the University of Plymouth collaborated together and found the solution to reduce dental implant failure. The team developed and evaluated the effectiveness of new nano-coating for dental implants to lessen the risk of peri-implantitis and their research was published in the journal Nanotoxicology.
The research team found out that nano-coating the dental implants with a combination of silver, titanium and hydroxyapatite inhibits bacterial growth and provides the surface with anti-biofilm properties. It was reported that the coatings on the titanium alloy implants reduced the biofilm formation by 97.5 percent. This anti-biofilm properties not only supported successful incorporation into the surrounding, it accelerated bone healing.
The University of Plymouth was the pioneer to secure Research Council Funding in the field of Nanoscience in the UK. And this project is its latest one among numerous projects related to nanotechnology and human health.
Professor Christopher Tredwin, Head of Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry, says, “In this cross-Faculty study we have identified the means to protect dental implants against the most common cause of their failure. The potential of our work for increased patient comfort and satisfaction, and reduced costs, is great and we look forward to translating our findings into clinical practice.”
Professor Richard, lead of the Nanoscience activity at the University of Plymouth and representor from the UK at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), discussing on matters relating to the Environmental Safety and Human Health of Nanomaterials, says, “As yet there are no nano-specific guidelines in dental or medical implant legislation and we are, with colleagues elsewhere, guiding the way in this area. The EU recognises that medical devices and implants must: perform as expected for its intended use, and be better than similar items in the market; be safe for the intended use or safer than an existing item, and; be biocompatible or have negligible toxicity.”
Dr. Alexandro Besinis, the lead of the research team and Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at University of Plymouth, says, “Current strategies to render the surface of dental implants antibacterial with the aim to prevent infection and peri-implantitis development, include application of antimicrobial coatings loaded with antibiotics or chlorhexidine. However, such approaches are usually effective only in the short-term, and the use of chlorhexidine has also been reported to be toxic to human cells. The significance of our new study is that we have successfully applied a dual-layered silver-hydroxyapatite nanocoating to titanium alloy medical implants which helps to overcome these risks.”