The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) estimates that the value of the American and European market for dental implants will rise to $4.2bn by 2022.
Dental implants are a successful form of treatment for patients, yet according to a study published in 2005, 5-10% fail. When failure occurs, the implant must be removed.
The reasons for failure are several: mechanical problems; poor connection to the bones in which they are implanted; infection; or, rejection. The main reason for dental implant failure is peri-implantitis. This is the destructive inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants. This occurs when pathogenic microbes in the mouth and oral cavity develop into biofilms, which protects them and encourages growth. Peri-implantitis is caused when the biofilms develop on dental implants.
A research team from the University of Plymouth developed and evaluated the effectiveness of a new nano-coating for dental implants to reduce the risk of peri-implantitis. The results of their work are published in the journal Nanotoxicology.
In the study, the research team created a new approach using a combination of silver, titanium oxide and hydroxyapatite nano-coatings. The application of the combination to the surface of titanium alloy implants successfully inhibited bacterial growth and reduced the formation of bacterial biofilm on the surface of the implants by 97.5%.
Not only did the combination result in the effective eradication of infection, it created a surface with anti-biofilm properties which supported successful integration into surrounding bone and accelerated bone healing.