Myths and Facts of Tooth Implants


What You Should Know About the Tooth Implant Industry?

Improvements in dentistry in the past 10 years or so has led to astonishing technological advances. Dental Implants have become the treatment of choice to replace lost or missing teeth. If performed with the correct surgical techniques and with proper surgical technique, the rate of success has exceeded 95 percent. When the idea of osseointegration, or fusing titanium and bone was first presented to the dental profession in the early 60s by an orthopedic surgeon referred to as P.I. Branemark, the application of the concept was then adapted to dental use; implementing the procedure, however, in an environment for dental use was considered as risky and uncertain. At this point, success rates in time rarely approached 55-60%. Many clinicians felt that their introduction into a patient’s treatment plan may be too premature for the predictability of a specific prosthesis. To improve the chances of success, modifications to the Tooth Implant’s surface were made. However there was no medical evidence to back the claim by the manufacturer of greater success rates. The titanium tooth implant that resembled a natural tooth root was created through several years of experiments.

The technology in the Tooth Implant field is still being used by general dentists and specialists 40 years later. When the market for implant dentistry began to explode less than a decade back, many implant manufacturers made the decision to modify the topographical surface of the implant fixture with unsubstantiated claims of increased success rates, in order to capture market share over the major implant manufacturers that hold 85-95 percent of US Tooth Implant sales.

However, there is a lot of research that is poorly written and is being published in the dental literature with false claims of improved rate of success. Many times implant manufacturers have made changes to the design of their implant because of improved success rates seen with a competitor implant that has the proper research and clinical documents. With the Tooth Implant industry growing each year, this problem is not going to go away.

Before you decide to proceed with the procedure, there are a few things you need to know as a potential candidate for an implant.

FACT: Doctors do not need formal surgical training on humans in order to insert Tooth Implants.

One implant manufacturer provides education seminars to dentists who want to place Tooth Implants in a matter of days. In only two days, doctors can be awarded an official certificate that states they have been trained in the field of surgical implant dentistry. They can also put Tooth Implants on the mouth of a patient. The course does not train dentists to treat human patients however, rather they are trained to treat plastic jawbones.

FACT: A Tooth Implant fixture can be sold to professionals without FDA approval by the US government.

The US government has a governing body that supervises biomedical device integration into the medical or dental community. The governing body will give 510K clearance to an implant company if a Tooth Implant meets the criteria for surgical placement in the human body. This is based on previous submissions from other manufacturers who have tested the device. This clearance permits Tooth Implant manufacturers (and other biomedical device manufacturers) to promote their product without needing prior animal or human testing! If a biomedical device of another kind was previously introduced with the same intent The literature on the original product could be used to establish 510K clearance.

Fact: There are too many implants and so little time to do it.

Tooth Implants are in fierce competition. Patents for devices that have been tested and proven to be safe for use by humans have expired. Implant manufacturers may copy the designs of these devices. Implant companies looking to be a part in the highly competitive Tooth Implant market will copy the appearance of the implant with a patent expiring, save for a minor modification every now and then. These implants are known as clones, and are sold to dentists at a discounted price. In most instances, these implant clones don’t have medical evidence to support their manufacturer’s claims. In fact they rely on literature provided by the implant manufacturer who they copy!

Fact: Implant manufacturers introduce new designs to the market with false claims

To keep pace with the latest implant manufacturers that are having higher overall success rates Some companies take a part of their competitor’s implant and claim that results are comparable with the newly added portion. While this may be true, in many cases, implant manufacturers have higher success rates due to a combination design features. Implant manufacturers can retain their existing customers by introducing a design concept which has been demonstrated to increase success rates in different types of implant systems even when there is no clinical evidence. Doctors don’t have to worry about purchasing another implant system.

FACT: Clone companies consistently fall short and suffer from a loss of market share, resulting in withdrawal from the market place.

Tooth Implants are metals and metal fatigue. Numerous implant companies that have copied systems from other companies and have provided the proper documentation have gone bankrupt. They are unable to offer their products to dentists. It is usually difficult, or nearly impossible to locate replacement parts for these implant systems when they fail. It could leave the patient who has received a cloned implant in their jaw with the unfortunate circumstance of not being able to restore it.

Fact A FACT: The US FDA does not require dentists to inform patients about the kind of Tooth Implant being placed.

There are over 90 Tooth Implant manufacturers currently competing for market share in the United States; within these 90 or so implant makers over 340 different implant designs are offered. !!!! The problem is that this amount is increasing, and over the next 10-20 years , when implant components are needed, it will be very difficult for dentists to identify what kind of implant is being used.

What can you do to avoid these issues?

Do some research on the doctor who is suggesting an implant and if they have any prior experience with implant dentistry.

Be sure that the person who is who is putting in the Tooth Implant is certified in the appropriate program, or has completed the required training.

Make an appointment with a prosthodontist, or general dentist prior to deciding to decide to place the implant. This will ensure that the implant tooth is treated correctly and restored properly.

At your initial consult with your surgeon, consult your dentist on the kind of Tooth Implant that he employs. Ask about how much research has been conducted on this particular type of implant, and its success rates and survival rates.

Discuss with your physician regarding the type of implant and the reason it is advised.