You could argue that when dental implants were first placed into a human patient back in 1965, they were ahead of their time. Even today, they remain the gold standard of missing tooth replacement, but with dental technology ever-evolving, you have to ask, what next? What will the future of dental implants look like a decade from now?
Let’s take a glimpse into 2033.
Robots performing implant surgery? It’s not as ridiculous as it seems. Advances in digital technology, like the Da Vinci Surgical System, mean that surgical robots have already entered the healthcare space. To date, over one million people have had medical treatment involving robotic-assisted surgery – although it’s fair to say that up until now, the dental field has been a little late to the party.
That said, by the end of 2020, there were already more than 50 robotic tools in dental practices across the US, while computer-guided surgical procedures have been a part of implant technology since 2000. Effectively, robot-assisted surgery is more than just a pipe dream.
So does this mean that the implant dentist of 2033 will be more of an orchestrator?
Yes, and no. The key here is ‘robot-assisted’ surgery. It’s more likely that the implant dentist of the not-too-distant future will still be chairside. But while the dentist brings the skill and expertise, the robot will be programmed to provide precision while preventing any errors or mistakes during the process.
Want to know more?
This article on Robotic-Assisted Dental Implant Surgery is worth a read.
Nano dentistry is a fascinating concept, and when integrated into the field of dental implantology, it holds tremendous potential for improving implant success rates and patient comfort. With the use of nano-blasting technology, implant surfaces could be modified to within a single nanoscale.
So how small is a nanoscale?
It’s almost impossible to imagine how small that is, but as a guide, there are 24,400 nanometers in one inch, and your average strand of hair is 80,000 -100,000 nanometers wide.
So, yes, a single nanometer is infinitesimally tiny
But why is working on such a small scale important?
Surface modification on this scale will vastly enhance the implant’s ability to integrate with bone tissue on a molecular level. This process, known as osseointegration, is necessary for complete jaw-to-implant stability.
Additionally, nano-modification can also stimulate osteogenic cell migration in bone tissue, which, in turn, will speed up the bone fusion process altogether, further improving the chances of success.
Believe it or not, even though nanotechnology is in its infancy, there are already several dental implant systems available that have nanostructured surfaces. The downside is that they are relatively new to the market and costly to design. So, they don’t come cheap.
However, the price will drop as technology improves and nanostructured implants become more mainstream.
With this in mind, it’s fair to say that the future of dental implants looks bright with nanotechnology.
Just imagine a world where you could engineer tooth replacements organically. This could be a reality ten years from now because stem cell technology is very real. As a result, the ability to replace or regrow a missing tooth in a human patient isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. After all, many fish, reptiles, and some mammals can regrow teeth, so why can’t we?
In 2013, bio-engineered teeth were already being grown successfully at Kings College in London, complete with dentine, enamel and tooth roots.
Even as far back as 2010, research on mice at the University of Illinois attached stem-cell-generated implants directly into rodent tooth sockets and found the implants successfully established a solid attachment between bone and teeth.
While the technology isn’t yet sufficiently proven to anchor an organically-grown implant into a human patient, it isn’t an impossibility to consider that it could certainly happen within the next decade.
The future of dental restoration offers a frontier full of possibilities. From robotics to nanotechnology and bio-engineered teeth, it isn’t too much of a leap of faith to see where the future of dental implants could go.
One thing’s for sure; these breakthroughs will only enhance the precision and efficiency of dental implant placement while providing greater comfort and less downtime for patients.
For many people facing a life without teeth, the future of implant-based restorations could be both exciting and life-changing.
While we can’t promise robotic intervention, we can guarantee our 100% focus on your well-being and comfort when you’re with us.
Dr Akinwande is an experienced dentist who will listen to your needs and discuss options to achieve the absolute best in your smile. That may be through implant-based restorations using single dental implants, implant-retained bridges, overdentures or All-On-4.
Are you ready for your life-changing smile? Your transformation is only a call away.
Call Chesterfield Dentistry at 314-936-3621 or book a free no-obligation consultation today.
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