Scientists and a team of researchers, including those from University of Plymouth in the UK, developed a new nano-coating that may help reduce the risk of dental implant failure. The main reason for dental implant failure is peri-implantitis - a destructive inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding implants.This occurs when pathogenic microbes in the mouth and oral cavity develop into bio films, which protects them and encourages growth.
Peri-implantitis is caused when the bio films develop on dental implants, researchers said.
In the study, researchers created a new approach using a combination of silver, titanium oxide and hydroxyapatite nano-coatings.
The application of the combination to the surface of titanium alloy implants successfully inhibited bacterial growth and reduced the formation of bacterial biofilm on the surface of the implants by 97.5 per cent.
Not only did the combination result in the effective eradication of infection, it created a surface with anti-biofilm properties which supported successful integration into surrounding bone and accelerated bone healing.
"We have identified the means to protect dental implants against the most common cause of their failure," said Professor Christopher Tredwin, Head of Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry.
"The potential of our work for increased patient comfortand satisfaction, and reduced costs, is great and we look forward to translating our findings into clinical practice,"said Tredwin.
Dental implants are a successful form of treatment for patients, yet according to a study published in 2005, 5 to 10 per cent of all dental implants fail.
The reasons for this failure are several-fold -mechanical problems, poor connection to the bones in which they are implanted, infection or rejection. When failure occurs the dental implant must be removed.
The research was published in the journal Nanotoxicology.