Science and Technology
publicado em 15/06/2011 às 19h00:00
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Nanotechnology reduces healing time for dental implants

Increasing the active surface at the nanometer level and alter the conductivity of the implant accelerates healing

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The technology used to replace missing teeth with titanium implants is being improved by researchers at the University of Gothenburg. By studying the surface structure of dental implants not only at the micro level, but also in the nano level, scientists have discovered a method that can shorten the healing time for patients.

"Increasing the active surface at the nano and change the conductivity of the implant allows us to affect the biomechanics of the body and speed healing of the implant. That would reduce the discomfort for patients and contribute to a better quality of life during the healing process" , Johanna says Loberg.

Dental implants have been used to replace missing teeth for over 40 years. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, who recently won the European Inventor, was the first person to realize that the body accepted the titanium well and that he could be implanted in bones without being rejected. Titanium is covered with a thin oxide layer formed naturally and are the properties of this oxide, which determines the likelihood of the implant to fuse with the bone.

They soon realized that a rough surface was better than a smooth and today, the implant surface is usually characterized by different levels of roughness, from nanostructures to thin overlapping. The implant anchorage in bone exerts a mechanical effect on the bone - known as biomechanical stimulation - which 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 measure and describe its appearance in detail. But the roughness is not the only property that affects healing.

Johanna Loberg discovered a method that describes the topography of the implant from micro to nano scale and allows theoretical estimates on the anchor into the bone to different surface topographies. The method can be used in the development of new dental implants to optimize properties of bone formation and healing. She also studied the conductivity of the oxide and the results show that a slightly higher conductivity gives a better cellular response and advance the process of deposition of minerals, both important for bone formation.

The results are consistent with animal studies and clinical studies of commercial OsseoSpeed ​​implant (Astra Tech AB), which show a slightly higher conductivity for the oxide and also an exchange between the hydroxide and fluoride on the surface of the oxide. Surfaces with well-defined nanostructures have a larger active area and respond quickly to the deposition of the bones forming minerals.

   Palavras-chave:   Dental implants    Nanotechnology    Titanium    Healing    Biomechanics    Bone tissue    Bone   
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