What’s next for implant dentistry?

There’s no getting away from it, the digital age is here and technology is evolving as you read!

Dental implants are a huge industry, and are on track to be worth over $4.4 billion dollars globally by 2020. The potential market is huge: today it’s estimated that 69% of adults between 35 and 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth, and 26% of adults will have lost all of their permanent teeth by the time that they are 74. For the dental industry to capitalise on this, dentists need to know the latest techniques available. That way, the partially dentate and edentate population can rest assured that they will receive the care that they need.

The technology behind dental implants is evolving in exciting ways, making scientific use of cutting edge materials and technologies. We’re going to see how dentists can learn and make use of the latest of these in order to make sure they have earned their patients’ confidence. With that in place, ageing populations, rising disposable incomes, and the heightened awareness of dental care across the world will ensure that all dental implant experts have no shortage of work opportunities.

The Dental Technology of the Future

A history of dental implants would be a history of mankind’s use of technology: evidence suggests that seashells, stones, and metals were used by ancient civilisations to replace missing teeth for at least the last 5000 years. Of course, the science of dental implants has come a long way in that time. Here’s a quick look at some developments that will define the future of dentistry:

  1. We have already seen how zero bone loss is becoming a real possibility for implants. Now, computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD-CAM) can be used to create identical replicas of non-salvageable teeth which are ready to be immediately implanted as soon as teeth have been extracted. Best of all for patients, the healing process is completely symptom-free: the procedure gives patients the best possible treatment in the least possible time, greatly increasing efficiency for dentists in the process.
  2. Even before surgery, patients’ needs and queries can be answered with CAD-CAM technology, with a clarity and ease that alternatives simply cannot match. ‘Digital Smile Dentistry’ uses imaging technology to effectively communicate how treatment will affect a patient’s aesthetics: digital images based on in-depth models of the patient’s teeth are used to show how all sorts of dental procedures will actually look. This is a clear way to calm patients’ doubts about potential treatments, improving their experience of treatment and making them more likely to turn to your expertise.
  3. Advancements in Digital Dentistry have provided an ideal way for everyone in the patient treatment plan to collaborate more efficiently. The CAMLOG implant system unites digital planning software, surgical techniques, and a recommended Guide System to achieve ideal implant placement for the patient. Although incorporating digital solutions requires an initial installation cost, utilising digital workflow to its max is a proven way to improve workflow efficiency and ease collaboration with laboratories, saving both precious time and money. CAMLOG is currently the number 1 implant system in Germany.

Mindfulness of the present

To be ready for the future of dentistry, you need to see how your practice exists in the present. Undergraduate courses in dentistry often do not raise awareness of the latest dental technologies, and as a result many dentists can feel out of the loop when it comes to providing optimal care.

With technology moving so fast what is the clinical evidence to support these new developments? Is there still a need for more traditional techniques? At the 2018 BioHorizons Symposium Adam Nulty and David Murnaghan debated the true advantages of digital implant dentistry and how implant systems have evolved to integrate with the benefits of CAD/CAM, Computer Guided Surgery and Surgical Guide Design.

Does digital dentistry really improve the efficiency and accuracy of dental procedures and can it truly allow clinicians to predict the finished results of their patient’s treatment plan?

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