The Cochrane Oral Health group is a group of researchers that are dedicated to consumer safety and liability. They are the people who check claims made by health companies and corporations who provide services or materials for the healthcare industry, and check to see that they are liable and are honest, and that the materials or services do what they claim to do. Dental implants are one of the things that they take a special interest in, as they are a relatively new phenomenon, and a lot of claims are being made about them. They have just recently finished a study that seems to suggest that marketing ploys have been used in order to sell dental implants.
Research that was started in 2002 has just concluded that there is virtually no discernible difference between dental implants at all if you are looking at long term effects, which most users of dental implants are trying to go for. It turns out that the shape or size or materials used in making the dental implant are almost exactly the same, and that they have the same life expectancy and propensity for failure. The only one thing that seems to matter is now the surface is treated.
The difference in how the surface is made, how porous it is and how much bone likes to grow into it is a factor that does matter. Acid etched and easy to integrate dental implants tend to stay for longer. The smoother the surface, the more successful the dental implant is in the long run. But there is a catch.
Smooth surfaced dental implants tend to have a significantly higher rate of initial failure upon implantation. This means that the dental implant may very well fail when it is first placed into the mouth, but that if it lasts (which is still more than 90% of the time, with up to 98% upon second implantation), it lasts much longer, and it does not cause peri-implantitis.
There will be more and more dental implants as time goes on, as people will be alive longer, and the baby boomers will continue to lose their teeth. This means that long lasting, truly “life long” dental implants are going to be needed in the market, and people will be looking for them. The solution to a smooth surface dental implant that is also long lasting and does not cause peri-implantitis is thus the future.