Precision and durability vital to quality tooth implant
Rebecca Hayden works as a lab technician at J.P. Dental, where she creates physical models of patients’ mouths and then sends digital images to a lab in New Jersey, where the abutment and crowns used with dental implants are made.
By Penny Stine/Sponsored content for JP Dental
With some products and services, it may not matter whether you choose the top-of-the-line, cutting edge leader or buy the off-brand copycat. Choosing between leather, pleather or Naugahyde for a wallet or purse won’t have major repercussions in the long-term. When it comes to healthcare products, especially those that are placed inside the body, the low-cost option may not be low-cost over a lifetime.
In the dental industry, Nobel Biocare is considered the gold standard of dental implant products and technology. The company was founded after research scientist Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered the process of osseointegration, i.e., when bone integrates and attaches securely to a titanium implant or prosthetic. The company continues to devote itself to research and development to offer patients greater comfort and a reliable product.
“People have to remember that an implant is a prosthetic device that will last in their body for the rest of their lives,” said Dr. John Poovey with J.P. Dental and Implant Center. “Nobel is the leader in implant manufacturing and spends the most on research and development.”
Nobel Biocare offers dental professionals a complete range of products and services, from the implant that’s placed in the patient’s mouth, to the abutment, which is the connecting piece that attaches the implant to the crown, as well as the software and the lab that creates the final crown.
There are other companies that also manufacture similar components used for dental implants, and some dental professionals will use Nobel Biocare implants, with an abutment made by a different manufacturer to reduce the cost of the device. Nobel won’t guarantee implants with an off-brand abutment.
“The Nobel abutment is machined to exact specifications and has a titanium interface to the implant itself; it is so exact you have to use an electron microscope to see it,” Poovey said. “If you get micromovements between the implant and the abutment, it creates internal stress and can cause failure of the implant.”
In addition to offer the Nobel Biocare implant system, J.P. Dental also has an in-house lab, with a lab specialist, Rebecca Hayden, who trained recently at the Nobel lab in New Jersey on the most up-to-date software and equipment. She also keeps her skills sharp by attending continuing education courses annually.
Hayden creates physical models of patients’ mouths and then sends a digital design of the model to the mill in New Jersey, which creates the abutment and crown to the exact specifications of every patient’s mouth. The New Jersey facility has a laser that can make a precise fit.
Hayden often meets patients at J.P. Dental to find out what patients want to see and how they want their new teeth to look and function. She can do precise shade matching and may add additional porcelain layers for better shaping. She sees patients before the implant and crown are placed, and again afterward, to make sure patients are happy with the way their new teeth look.
“That implant didn’t grow there,” Hayden said, “so creating a tooth that looks like it did is much more difficult.”
Although the teeth that are anchored to the implant are the most visible component of the process, they are just one component of a greater procedure that not only has to look right, it also has to offer greater function and comfort.