The large numbers of implants available come in all shapes and sizes with considerable variations in the material used, the morphology of the implant, the type of abutment connection and the surface characteristics1.
From a chemical point of view, they are currently being manufactured from three groups: metals, ceramics and polymers. These are commonly divided by biocompatibility based on the type of biological response they elicit in the long-term interaction with the host tissue. These include biotolerant (stainless steel, chromium-cobalt alloy), bioinert (titanium, carbon) and bioactive (hydroxylapatite, ceramic oxidized aluminium),.
Titanium remains the material of choice, as it offers no allergic and immunological reactions and no neoplasm formation. Bone grows along the titanium oxide surface, which is formed immediately (9-10 seconds) after contact with air or tissue fluid and can reach a thickness of 2-10nm in one second. This stable surface is biocompatible and provides high corrosion resistance, high passivity and resistance to chemical attack3,.
Implants also vary in design. The majority of modern root form dental implants are threaded, although the thread pitch or profile can differ significantly between manufactures. Threads play an important role in primary stability and long-term success of dental implants. The micro-thread, for example, features small threads around the neck, which engage the dense cortical bone better and distribute occlusal loads more optimally.
Surface properties of the implant can also greatly influence the longevity and function of the implant-supported prosthesis. Rough implant surfaces result in better osseointegration than smooth surfaces, though smooth surfaces seem to have a reduced risk of future bone resorption3.
Surface design is one factor along with length, diameter and shape that affects the contact area; this consequently impacts on stability and the ability of the prosthetic to withstand force. The maximal load is proportional to the total bone-implant contact surface, although the ideal fixture size remains to be determined. However, the dimension of implants should be congruent with the bone available at the surgical site and the treatment plan2.
Implant dentistry is an evolving science with new materials and designs continually being introduced. Working with a laboratory that uses the latest technology and research to create high-quality implants is essential.
Sparkle Dental Labs is one such laboratory that continues to invest in research, development and the latest state-of-the-art technology. The wide range of outstanding implants includes those from the most popular brands, which are all crafted by experienced, highly skilled UK technicians. The high quality materials complement the expert craftsmanship and with full traceability for every item, you are guaranteed first class products every time.
Implantology continues to advance, and by working with a leading lab, dental professionals can liaise with expert technicians to ensure the best implant is chosen for every case, aiding integration and optimising success.
 Barfeie, A., Wilson, J., & Rees, J. (2015). Summary of: Implant surface characteristics and their effect on osseointegration. British Dental Journal, 218, 292-293.
 Huang, L., Shotwell, J. L., & Wang, H. (2005). Dental implants for orthodontic anchorage. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, 127, 713-722.
 Barfeie, A., Wilson, J., & Rees, J. (2015). Implant surface characteristics and their effect on osseointegration. British Dental Journal, 218, 1-9.
 Variola, F., et al. (2011). Nanoscale surface modifications of medically-relevant metals: state-of-the art and perspectives. Nanoscale, 3 (2), 335-353.
 Association of Dental Implantology. A dentist’s guide to implantology. Available online: http://www.adi.org.uk/profession/dentist_guide/a-dentists-guide-to-implantology.pdf [Accessed 26th January 2015].
 Ogle, O. E. (2015). Implant surface material, design, and osseointegration. Dental Clinics of North America, in press.