CASTELLÓN/BILBAO, Spain: Spanish researchers have developed an implant coating with a novel biodegradable material aimed at people with inadequate jawbone. According to the inventors, it will also increase the overall success rate of implants through its enhanced biocompatibility and reduce osseointegration time.
Elderly people or people with osteoporosis, smokers, diabetics or people who have had cancer are sometimes not good candidates for dental implants, as their jawbone is unable to integrate the implants adequately. While a titanium implant takes at least two months to become anchored in the jawbone, the new prototype, developed at the Universitat Jaume I in Castellón and the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, reduces this period so that the ceramic crown that replaces the visible part of the tooth can be seated earlier, allowing patients to regain their normal life sooner.
“It covers the implant with a biodegradable coating that upon contact with the bone dissolves and during this degradation process releases silicon compounds and other bioactive molecules that induce bone generation,” explained Julio José Suay, coordinator of the Polymers and Advanced Materials research group. “This is an innovative line of research, as current implant systems use increasing roughness of the implants to facilitate osseointegration.”After in vitro testing with cell cultures of the different biomaterials, the researchers proceeded to the animal evaluation, until they achieved the prototype with the best results. The next phase entails a clinical evaluation in order to obtain a marketable, sterile product within two to three years.
The research aims to improve the success rate of dental implants, especially for people with jawbone deficiencies. Not replacing a lost tooth involves a series of biomechanical problems, such as a change in the bite line, malalignment of the teeth and the creation of diastemas. This can ultimately lead to such periodontal diseases as gingivitis and periodontitis that deteriorate the support structures of the jaw and cause the loss of more teeth. This is why it is so important to replace teeth—in addition to the full recovery of masticatory function and normal social relations.