‘Game-changing’ dental implant technology using ultraviolet (UV) light has been developed following a decade of research.
The technology was developed by a team of researchers from UCLA School of Dentistry. They claim that the new technology has faster healing times, ‘near-perfect’ osseointegration and reduced complications for patients.
This comes after the researchers identified a significant obstacle in the advancement of dental implant science. They found that a layer of hydrocarbons naturally deposits on titanium pellicle implant surfaces which both hinders osseointegration and can lead to peri-implantitis in 35-40% of patients.
As a result, the researchers developed new technology which involves blasting UV light treatment on titanium implants for one minute. The UV light removes the hydrocarbons, therefore lowering the risk of post-treatment complications.
The technology also ensures more versatile occlusion which reduces the need for smaller implant crowns and the number of bridge implants required. In addition, the UV treatment causes ‘unprecedented action’ of the gingival cells to seal the implants. This limits the prospect of bacterial invasion and, as a result, peri-implantitis.
‘The possibilities are limitless’
The research was led by Takahiro Ogawa, a professor at UCLA School of Dentistry. He said: ‘We have entered a new era in [implant dentistry].
‘This UV technology not only enhances the effectiveness of dental implants but also improves the quality of life for patients. The possibilities are limitless, and I am incredibly excited about the potential impact on oral and overall health.’
He added: ‘Our goal is to eradicate peri-implantitis.’
Ogawa also believes the use of UV-treated implants could be beneficial elsewhere in the medical world. He said: ‘Orthopedic implants like hip joint reconstruction and spine fixation show a high incidence of revision surgery and complications.
‘I believe UV-treated implants will help mitigate them.’
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