A systematic review was performed on studies investigating current issues in implant dentistry. The Journal of Dental Research and Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology were searched from 2004 to 2010 using ScienceDirect. Criteria for inclusion included: (1) studies of implant placement; (2) observations regarding permanent dentures; (3) data considering bone-to-implant healing; and (4) results of implant procedures in elderly patients. This electronic search of the literature yielded over 2,000 abstracts. Recently published papers revealed the importance of significant bone-to-implant contact as well as positive implant surface roughness. Successful implant placement; that is to say, osseointegration, increases with the use of bone growth factors, as well as various surface treatments. The studies selected indicated that, among both patients and professionals, dental implants are often the preferred method of treatment. From replacing a single tooth to allowing the placement of full dentures, evidence-based research in implantology has led to both an ever increasing number of treatment options, and longer lasting results for dental patients.
Introduction to Implant Dentistry
As a profession, the practice of dentistry goes back as just as far as the practice of medicine. Dentistry itself can be thought of as a specialization of medicine – dealing primarily with the oral cavity, jaw, and neck in a manner similar to many medical specialists. The practice of implant dentistry, on the other hand, is rather new – and is based in a tremendous amount of evidence-based research. From an outcome perspective, implantology is the most predictable of dental procedures. The usage of dental implants was performed in the US as early as 1950, but it was not until the 1980’s, with the discovery of the ossification potential of titanium, that implants became a staple of dental specialists. Implant technology is invaluable to the millions of baby boomers with periodontal disease or other dental problems who desire never to fumble with uncomfortable dentures or adjust to an uncomfortable bridge. It is for these reasons that Implant Dentistry has been of ever increasing importance to the dental profession. The usage of Dental Implant Systems is quite unlike many other areas of dentistry insofar as that there has been a great deal of research into all aspects of its practice. Imaging technology, materials research, and new instrumentation have streamlined the progression from diagnosis to treatment to such a great degree that outcomes are typically predictable and successful. In light of the relatively recent nature of Implant Dentistry’s appearance on the scene, its evaluation with respect to the future of the dental profession is due. Past
For as long as mankind has been in existence, so too have teeth. Throughout a lifetime primary teeth emerge and are lost, by permanent dentition. Implant dentistry, the replacement of permanent dentition, finds its roots in the advances in metallurgy of the late 1800s. Gold and Platinum, as well as porcelain were all used in attempts to anchor implants to the Jawbone. Titanium, the metal around which implant dentistry is built today, was first used in the 1980s. A Swedish surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that titanium could anchor to bone predictably, without causing inflammation or serious rejection risks. This pioneering discovery paved the way for implant dentistry based around osseointegration. Implant systems today, revolving around the usage of titanium screws as dental implants, are based in the discoveries of Branemark. Within the past twenty years, the science behind osseointegration has been mastered to such a degree that everything from success rates to average recovery times can be known. Other relatively recent improvements, including changes in surgical techniques and advances in bone grafting have even more greatly...