Keeping a beautiful, clean smile usually involves regular dental care and the usual everyday brushing, and flossing. Every now and then more serious procedures like dental implants become necessary after a tooth has gone bad or after they are damaged due to some sort of accident. Dental implants have actually been around for millenia and the techniques and procedures used have evolved with time. Historically, dental implants have been performed on both the dead and the living. In the 20th century, the surgery is mainly done on the living and how the procedure takes place is affected by present day and future anticipated innovations.
One important aspect of note in the future of dental implants is the cost. It has become increasingly expensive. Although, when costs are compared across countries for instance Costa Rica and America, the surgery is a lot cheaper in Costa Rica. This raises the idea of dental tourism which is a possible future feature of dental implants. Patients can travel to other countries to get their surgeries and this allows them to save more money.
Another potential trend in this particular part of the industry is research and development into reducing the number of implant failures that occur because of compromised bone conditions. This is especially as it relates to the elderly population. Medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and drug use can all hinder bone healing around dental implants. As a result, research into better methods of enhancing implant osseointegration must continue, particularly in the presence of compromised bone health.
Computer aided design is also a possible future feature of dental implants. With computer aided design, the time taken to produce replacement teeth is a lot less and it will also reduce the side effects of regular implant surgery techniques. Customers may even have the opportunity to produce replicas of their original, damaged teeth. Other digital technologies such as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) will also be incorporated into pre-surgical diagnosis and treatment planning which will undoubtedly improve the overall workflow.
Robot-assisted dental implant surgery will also likely become the standard of treatment for implant operations in the near future. Yomi is the first robotically assisted dental surgical device, according to Neocis, a Miami-based company. Yomi’s software is used to prepare an implant treatment based on the CT scan of a patient. Yomi guides the drill and assists dentists in assessing the position, depth, and alignment of the implants. A robot recently implanted two dental implants in a woman in China by executing a series of pre-programmed orders. The treatment was even overseen by dentists who did not personally assist in it.
It is clear that the future of dental implants will include technical innovations, improvements in delivery services and the stability of implants, as well as better innovations for elderly patients. The future of our smiles should be safe indeed.