I had a patient ask me a great question the other day: “Are all implants the same?” Before I answered this patient’s question, I paused and wondered why no other patients have asked this question before. I wondered whether my colleagues, other dental professionals, have even asked this question to themselves.
Dental implants have been around for decades. They have evolved from what seem to us today to be primitive devices that mimicked medieval torture devices to a simplistic, predictable, and aesthetic means to replacing missing or failing teeth. In the past decade, dental implants have exploded in popularity. 20 years ago, there were just a hand full of dental implant manufacturers. Today, there are literally hundreds of different manufacturers. This is indicative of just how popular dental implants have become. With so many choices with dental implant systems, it can be difficult for the patient, let alone a dentist, to really understand what makes a good dental implant.
In my opinion, the answer to our question is NO! Not all dental implants are equal. There are many things to consider when you think about what makes a good dental implant system. Here are just a couple of things to consider:
1) Design- Implants come in many shapes and sizes, from long and skinny, to short and fat. They come with different thread sizes and angles. Some are straight and some are tapered. Some are what is called “platform switched” and some are straight walled. They can have an internal or an external connection. When it comes to design, my opinion is that the perfect implant should exhibit these characteristics: Platform switched, Threads that minimize crestal pressure, thread pitch that allows for good primary stability, internal tapered wall connection.
2) Track Record- How long has this implant been around? How much research has be conducted on this implant? How stable is the company and will they stick around?
3) Components- Is there a good variety of components? Are there too many different components? Are components easily available and will they be around in 20 years if replacement parts are needed?
4) Restorability- How easily are these implants restored? How are restorative errors minimized by the design of components and implants?
There are many other areas to consider that I will not get into. I have spent three additional years on top of my basic dental education studying dental implants. I have had the opportunity to place multiple types of implant systems. I’ve weighed the pros and cons of each system and tracked the progress of implants. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as the perfect implant system. However, I feel that one implant system stands out to be the most predictable, reliable, and advanced system on the market. That system is the Astra Tech Implant System.
The Astra Tech Implant System has most of the design components that I feel make a great implant. The components are easy to use, easy to understand, and readily available. This is made even simpler with the integration of Atlantis custom abutments owned by the same company. Astra Tech is such a good implant system, that it was recently purchased by one of the largest dental supply distributors in the world. Because of this, I am confident that this company will be around for years to come. Millions of dollars have been spent researching the product to ensure that it is as good as implants get. Most importantly to me are the results that I get from the implants that I’ve placed in my own patients. No other implant has been more successful, retained more crestal bone, and had a better soft tissue response than the Astra Tech System.
It is for these reasons that every patient that walks away from my practice will receive only the best implant that is out on the market. You will never find a knock-off brand implant or clone placed in my practice. I use only genuine parts which are under warranty with the implant company. We don’t believe in using sub-standard materials on our patients to make a little extra money. Our patients want and deserve the best out there.
So before you have a dental implant placed in your mouth, make sure to ask what type or brand of implant you are receiving. As with anything that requires such an investment of time and resources, do your research beforehand to avoid any complications or disasters.
For more information on the Astra Tech Implant system and why I think they are the best system out there, visit their website:
Trung Tran DDS, MS