Dental Tribune International

Journal celebrates centennial with article on how implants have influenced restorative dentistry

By Dental Tribune International
November 21, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va., U.S.: This year marks the centennial of the Journal of Dental Research (JDR). To celebrate this special occasion, the JDR is featuring a yearlong commemorative article and podcast series that highlights topics that have transformed dental, oral and craniofacial research over the past century. One of these articles describes the progress that has been made in dental implants, but also emphasizes the importance of the main goal in dentistry: to preserve natural teeth.

The discovery of the phenomenon of osseointegration led to the development of oral implants with high clinical performance. In the JDR centennial article “Oral implants—the paradigm shift in restorative dentistry,” Professor Emeritus Niklaus P. Lang, University of Bern, Switzerland, reviews the historical development of dental implants, addresses biological complications and critically views the perception of dental implants as a panacea.

“While the osseointegration facilitates the use of implants as prosthetic abutments, it must be kept in mind that the periimplant soft tissue may be subject to biological complications and, in turn, this may result in an infectious process that will jeopardize the osseointegration,” said Lang. “Consequently, the monitoring of the periimplant tissues is an important aspect and early intervention in situations with periimplant mucositis is mandatory for the prevention of periimplantitis. In the light of these facts, it would appear to be logical to advocate that treatment philosophies should change to retain more teeth.”

The November 2019 issue of the JDR also includes a JDR centennial podcast, “Oral implants—the paradigm shift in restorative dentistry,” which features a conversation between Lang and Dr. Lisa Heitz-Mayfield, University of Western Australia, Perth, moderated by JDR Editor-in-Chief Dr. William Giannobile, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.

In this podcast, Giannobile addresses the phenomenon of osseointegration and the major advances that have followed it. In response to the question of how dental implants have progressed, especially in the last 30–40 years, Lang answered that dentists have had the desire for a very long time to substitute teeth with implants for completely edentulous patients; however, these implants were not always successful, owing predominantly to infections.

He distinguishes between three different implant generations, of which the first two are no longer in use: “The first ones, or the oldest ones, were subperiosteal implants—frameworks equipped with prongs to attach the full denture. The second generation is called the generation of fibro-osseous integration. These were implants that [...] healed by being incorporated through a connective tissue capsule. These blade implants are no longer popular at all and it is true that the third generation which is called the osseointegration implants have completely replaced all the other efforts with implants.”

More information on the JDR centennial can be found at www.iadr.org/JDRcentennial.

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