Healing times for dental implants could be cut

June 14, 2011, University of Gothenburg

The technology used to replace lost teeth with titanium dental implants could be improved. By studying the surface structure of dental implants not only at micro level but also at nano level, researchers at the University of Gothenburg; Sweden, have come up with a method that could shorten the healing time for patients.

"Increasing the active surface at nano level and changing the of the implant allows us to affect the body's own biomechanics and speed up the healing of the implant," says Johanna Löberg at the University of Gothenburg's Department of Chemistry. "This would reduce the discomfort for patients and makes for a better quality of life during the healing process."

have been used to replace lost for more than 40 years now. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, who was recently awarded the prestigious European Inventor Award, was the first person to realise that was very body-friendly and could be implanted into without being rejected. Titanium is covered with a thin layer of naturally formed oxide and it is this oxide's properties that determine how well an implant fuses with the bone.

It became clear at an early point that a rough surface was better than a smooth one, and the surface of today's implants is often characterised by different levels of roughness, from the thread to the superimposed nanostructures. Anchoring the implant in the bone exerts a mechanical influence on the bone tissue known as biomechanical stimulation, and this facilitates the formation of new bone. As the topography (roughness) of the surface is important for the formation of new bone, it is essential to be able to measure and describe the surface appearance in detail. But roughness is not the only property that affects healing.

Johanna Löberg has come up with a method that describes the implant's topography from micrometre to nanometre scale and allows theoretical estimations of anchoring in the bone by different surface topographies. The method can be used in the development of new dental implants to optimise the properties for increased bone formation and healing. She has also studied the oxide's conductivity, and the results show that a slightly higher conductivity results in a better cell response and earlier deposition of minerals that are important for bone formation.

The results are in line with animal studies and clinical trials of the commercial implant OsseoSpeed (Astra Tech AB), which show a slightly higher conductivity for the oxide and also an exchange between hydroxide and fluoride on the surface of the oxide. Surfaces with a well-defined nanostructure have a larger active area and respond quickly to the deposition of bone-forming minerals.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Gothenburg and Astra Tech AB in Mölndal, and will be further evaluated in follow-up studies.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.