Dental implants have a very high rate of success, 98% upon implantation, but later on, infections can occur in the implantation site and around the dental implant itself. One of the many things that researchers are constantly testing is ways to eliminate these kinds of infections from occurring.
The best way to do this is to ensure that the dental implant anchors into the jawbone properly and fully, and this will facilitate an oral environment that will be most likely completely free from infection and other complications due to microbes in the oral cavity. There are many ways to ensure that the dental implant properly anchors into the jawbone, and one of them is to make a special surface or coating that will fight off bacteria and can easily be accepted by the jawbone, providing easy osseointegration.
A new coat for dental implants
The researchers at the University of the Basque Country have realised that the best way for them is to develop a new, antibiotic coating for the dental implants. This means the surface of the dental implant has a kind of layer on it that is antibiotic and facilitates the growth of the cells of the jawbone. The bone cells do not just attach to the surface of the dental implant: they grow in, around and through them as well, which is why most dental implant surfaces are porous. By doing so, they lock into the jawbone completely, and ensure that there is no space for food detritus and bacteria to start living in. The new coating is essentially a silica gel that is dried and then left on the surface of the dental implant. The silica foster bone growth, and can be treated with antibiotics to make a truly great dental implant surface coating.
Concerns and availability
As always, using antibiotics has some concern attached to it. With all of the antibiotic resistant strains of germs developing daily, is it really the best idea to introduce antibiotics to oral microbes? Do we really want an antibiotic resistant strain of periodontitis? Because one can be developed by being exposed to antibiotics.
As for availability, right now there are three working prototypes, one of which is a trade secret, the other two having been made known already, and the developers are just waiting approval before getting a patent!