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Researchers in Australia seek to improve dental implant outcomes

By Dental Tribune International
February 11, 2021

BRISBANE, Australia: Dental professionals and researchers continue to look for the best solutions to help prevent and manage peri-implant disease. For example, researchers at the University of Queensland School of Dentistry in Brisbane are developing a treatment that will improve dental implant outcomes by preventing bacterial growth and biofilm formation on implant surfaces. The researchers believe that the treatment may also be effective in treating periodontitis.

Peri-implant diseases can affect the soft and hard tissue surrounding dental implants, and chronic inflammation may lead to bone loss and cause titanium implant loosening or even displacement. According to the researchers, since the soft-tissue attachments to the implant are more fragile, the risk of inflammation and peri-implantitis is significantly higher with titanium implants in comparison with natural teeth. However, they believe that their treatment could improve the survival rate of dental implants.

Dr Abdalla Ali and his research team have recently received funding from the Australian Dental Research Foundation. (Image: University of Queensland)

Commenting on the project, co-researcher Dr Abdalla Ali, a research fellow at the school, said in a press release: “We aim to fabricate microtubules on titanium discs as a subtraction surface modification method.”

“Microtubules with high surface area might be an ideal surface modification method on the dental abutment implants for developing strong soft-tissue insertion into the implants and thereby last for a long-term application,” he continued. After the soft-tissue ingrowth has taken place, bacterial growth and biofilm formation around the dental implants will be prevented.

“Soft-tissue integration is an essential criterion to gauge restorative success, since osseointegration has become a routine and predictable phenomenon.”

The team is hopeful that the project will yield positive results: “Our achievement will open a new dental industry trend towards using this technology for next-generation implants with multifunctional characteristics.”

The project, called “Soft tissue insertion into micro-tubules on Ti discs using femtosecond laser micromachining subtraction modification”, was recently awarded A$15,000 (€9,600) from the Australian Dental Research Foundation.

 

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