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Healing times for dental implants could be cut
Date:6/14/2011

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 conductivity of the implant allows us to affect the body's own biomechanics and speed up the healing of the implant," says Johanna Lberg 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."

Dental implants have been used to replace lost teeth for more than 40 years now. Per-Ingvar Brnemark, who was recently awarded the prestigious European Inventor Award, was the first person to realise that titanium was very body-friendly and could be implanted into bone 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 Lberg 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 diffe
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Contact: Johanna Lberg
Johanna.Loberg@chem.gu.se
46-070-555-4787
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

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