The human mouth is full of different kinds of bacteria. It’s a constant battle for people and their dentists in Singapore to keep tooth decay at bay. With frequent brushing and flossing and regular cleaning, the bacteria can be defeated. However, when you introduce a foreign object such as a dental implant to the mouth, a new set of issues arises. Beatriz Palla does research for the UPV/EHU’s Department of Polymer Science and Technology, in the Biomaterials Group. Find out how this researcher and others are discovering new ways to keep bacteria at bay for dental implants.

The Purpose of Dental Implants

Dental implants are inserted to replace a tooth or teeth that may have been lost, knocked out, decayed, or broken. A dental implant looks just like the rest of the teeth in the wearer’s mouth, and provides aesthetic value as well as a chewing or biting surface. The implant is inserted deep in the gum tissue, with a screw portion that attaches to the jawbone to stabilise it. While most dental implants are successful, about 10 percent of them must be taken out, often because of infections due to bacteria.

The Design Behind Dental Implants

Many people accept and enjoy their dental implants without really thinking about the incredible science that goes into the making of these pieces. Research teams develop coatings that encourage the jawbone to solidify around the implant and ensure a secure anchor. They figure out how to create substances that have the colour and feel of teeth, along with extreme durability. The process of customising each dental implant to look like the user’s other teeth is a beautiful blend of art and science.

Challenges for Dental Implant Researchers

One of the challenges that faces researchers is imbuing titanium implants with antibacterial properties. However, they also have to think about the fact that certain bacteria can mutate and become resistant, as they do with conventional antibiotics.

Three Anti-Bacterial Coatings for Dental Implants

Beatriz Palla and the team created three different kinds of dental implant coatings during their study. Each coating included properties to attack or prevent bacterial infection. One of these coatings was designed to degrade very, very slowly over time, acting as a prophylactic option that prevents bacteria from sticking to the implant. Another coating was designed to release an antibacterial agent quickly, to attack an infection that was already present. Yet another coating was created to be used on an infected dental implant screw. This last option could be applied during surgery, as a way of salvaging the implant while treating the infection effectively.

Oral Health and Wellness Solutions in Singapore

When you visit Orchard Scotts Dental to talk about the possibility of dental implants, you can rest assured that our experts are up to date on the latest methods and most effective ways of achieving premium oral health. We’ll lay out all the options for you and provide you with a recommended path to filling those unwanted gaps in your smile. Plus, you can ask us about our smile makeover package with Invisalign, along with options like porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. Call today to chat with one of our friendly representatives and set up your first appointment.

Source: Phys.org, 18 Dec, 2016