Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston can identify and quantify specific protein markers in human saliva to provide an early, non-invasive diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published in today’s issue of the journal Cancer Investigation. “Why not the dentist?” said lead researcher Charles Streckfus, D.D.S., . “Most folks, especially women and children, visit the dental office way more often than they ever see the physician. Saliva is a non-invasive, quicker way for detection.” Streckfus and his team compared the levels of expression of proteins in the saliva of patients with either malignant or benign tumors to saliva from normal controls to find those that are abnormally expressed in the diseased state. Patients’ proteins that are significantly higher or lower than the norm were considered biomarker candidates. Streckfus and his collaborators are continuing to pursue salivary diagnostics for other types of cancer, such as ovarian, endometrial, cervical and head and neck cancers.
ImplantVision have added to their implant-centered patient education system `PatientVu` by releasing it in 12 languages. The available languages are: Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Russian and Polish.
Researchers at the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan has published a paper in Nanotechnology demonstrating the use of gold nanoparticles in occluding dental tubules. Researchers have found that sensitive teeth have an increased number of dentinal tubules (35.6% compared to 9.3%) and are wider in diameter (0.83 µm compared to 0.43 µm) than the dentinal tubules of non sensitive dentine. The Chinese researchers have demonstrated that this tubules can be blocked with the aid of gold nanoparticles.
An interesting aspect of gold at the nanoscale is that gold nanoparticles exhibit a clear size-dependent trend: the smaller gold nanoparticles get, the lower is their melting point. This deviation of the melting temperature from the bulk value becomes dramatic at a size around 5 nm in diameter, ultimately reaching well under 50% of the bulk melting point of gold.One of the methods of closing sub-micron sized dentinal tubules explored by Dr. Chris Wang and his team involved the sintering of highly concentrated gold nanoparticles that were brushed into the exposed open ends of dentinal tubules. Laser irradiation induced the photofusion of gold nanoparticles via photothermal conversion.
Creative Marketing and Merchandising Media Solutions (c3ms), a provider of digital signage networks, recently announced the launch of the NobelVision Network throughout North America. The NobelVision Network is a customized channel of dental healthcare information specifically designed to educate the patients of Nobel Biocare`s customers on their dental options by delivering quality educational, informational and entertainment segments via an IP-based, networked narrowcast system. Presented on large flat-panel screens installed in dental offices, the NobelVision Network provides a unique opportunity for advertisers and content partners to market their products and services to a targeted, health conscious audience with known demographic and statistical data.
With the growing population of patients who actively research their own healthcare options, having fresh, up-to-the minute information that`s pertinent to their needs makes the wait in the dentist`s office a more productive experience,” said Kevin Mosher, Vice President & General Manager, Nobel Biocare North America. “For dentists, it`s always better to have educated patients, particularly when they become knowledgeable about additional services that may be of benefit to them. The NobelVision Network represents a strategic vehicle to deliver timely and relevant information in an appropriate setting for the benefit of both parties.” Implementation of this private promotional and advertising network is currently underway and will be installed in 200 dental offices using Nobel Biocare products by the end of 2007
JDentalcare have released a one-piece implant designed for immediate function. The aggressive threading features a very deep coil depth designed to provide increased primary stability even in soft bone. Additionally each thread features a series of little steps on the inside of the thread. These steps increase the bone to implant contact area by 15%. The available implant diameters range from 3-5mm and range in length from 10 to 18mm.
Regeneration technologies have started to manufacture bone screws from bovine metatarsals. These are used in reconstructive surgery such as repairing the torn anterior cruciate ligament that plagues many athletes. The bone is obtained from specially bread cows at the Pranther Ranch. Prather Ranch “allows us the opportunity to satisfy many concerns about sourcing bovine materials because of the way they do their business,” said Carrie Hartill, chief scientific officer at Regeneration. “They are the largest closed herd and safeguarded with proper health and animal husbandry.”
In addition to the special precautions Rickert takes in breeding his cattle, the cow bones need special preparation before they can be used in human surgery. Regeneration and other companies use cleaning techniques (Regeneration`s proprietary version is called BioCleanse) to ensure that no living material remains on the bone. That cuts down on the risk of disease transmission and prevents antigenicity, which happens when the body`s immune system attacks a foreign substance.With clean bones, the work of turning bone into bone screw can begin. “The first thing we do is shape into rough-hewn shapes around the size and specification you might need,” Hartill said. “Then you do the fine machining. It`s actually a screw and it has a thread, so we use identical (cutting and milling) equipment to the titanium-screw manufacturers.”
The selling point for using bovine biological materials is that the body responds to it as it would human tissue, absorbing it into the body.
“It eventually remodels into the host bone from six to 12 months” after surgery, Hartill said. “We have instances where surgeons have had to go in to do a repeat surgery and they haven`t been able to find the bovine bone anymore.”
Drs. Marx et al. of the University of Miami have published a comprehensive paper on `Risk factors, Prediction of Risk using Serum CTX Testing, Prevention and Treatment` of Oral Bisphosphonate-Induced Osteonecrosis in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery (pages 2397-2410). It gives specific guidelines to help to assess the risk of BRONJ and a suggested course of treatment should the condition develop in one of your patients.
The Philips `Brilliance` CT scanner was unveiled at the Radiological Society of North America. The new 256-slice CT machine takes large numbers of X-ray pictures, and combines them using computer technology to produce the final detailed images.
It also generates images in a fraction of the time of other scanners: a full body scan takes less than a minute. This scanner allows radiologists to produce high quality images and is also designed to reduce patients` exposure to X-rays,” Steve Rusckowski, chief executive of Philips Medical Systems, said. “It is so powerful it can capture an image of the entire heart in just two beats.” “This is a quantum shift from the first CT scanners as it gives a lot more detail,” says Dr Keith Prowse, Chairman of the British Lung Foundation.
A new study in the October issue of the Journal of Periodontology (JOP) found that an adhesive made from an enzyme found in snake venom was a more effective and beneficial adhesive when used to close surgical incisions than traditional sutures. The study followed 15 patients during the healing process after a gingival (gum) graft. When the adhesive derived from snake venom was used, those patients had faster recovery and better results than those treated with traditional sutures. `This unique type of adhesive may stimulate faster tissue repair. It is a more natural form of adhesive in comparison to traditional sutures used after surgery,` explained study author Monica Barbosa, Phd, Bauru Dental School at the University of Sao Paulo, `More studies are needed to fully evaluate the effectiveness of this alternative.`
`This adhesive may be a less infectious alternative to traditional sutures,` said Preston D. Miller, DDS, and AAP president. `This research highlights the array of therapies available for patients; both traditional and natural alternatives. There continues to be a lot of exciting and innovative research in the field of periodontics.`
A New England Journal of Medicine article found that the number of CT Scans most people are exposed to had risen dramatically in the past 27 years. In 1980, doctors ordered an average of 3 million scans per year in the United States. Now, about 62 million CT Scans are done each year in this country. The rise in CT Scans can be attributed, in part, to an increase in `defensive` medicine. This occurs, for example, when people who are admitted to an emergency room are routinely given a CT Scan even before receiving a diagnosis or being seen by doctor. Controversial uses of CT Scans for whole-body scanning, virtual colonoscopy and lung cancer screening have also made CT Scans more prevalent.
The dose of radiation received by patients subject to a CT Scan can be 50 to 100 times larger than that of a traditional x-ray. That is exactly where the problem of CT Scan overuse lies. The type of radiation used in CT Scans, ionizing radiation, has the capacity to damage DNA, causing cells to mutate. This in turn leads to cancer. While the risk of one CT Scan to an individual is small, the study`s authors wrote that they are concerned about the built-up risk of frequent CT Scans over time. In a few decades, as many as 2% of all cancers in the United States might be caused by radiation from CT scans given now.
BioMeDevice Ltd. today announced that it has received FDA approval to market the new and innovative gumEase Cryo-Anesthetic dental mouthpiece to US dental practitioners and over the counter across the United States. The easy-to-use, disposable device is a breakthrough in pain management. Inserted into the sulci above and below the upper and lower gums, the latex-free device delivers anesthetic pain relief to the maxillofacial nerves, quickly diminishing pain. In patient testing the new gumEase diminished pain by 90% in 3 to 4 minutes for the average participant.The gumEase is a sterile device made of biocompatible ThermoPlastic Elastomer (TPE) containing a saline solution. A `standalone` device, gumEase is not connected or supported by any other means. The device is chilled in a temperature controlled freezer, and as soon as the device is placed in the proper sulci of the mouth, the cooling transfer begins – with a surprisingly powerful effect on patient pain relief. Possible side effects associated with the use of gumEase is the potentiality that the cryotherapy will not have a totally and comprehensive disruption of oral pain.
META Advanced Medical Technology have designed a osteotome based sinus lift system that accomplishes a controlled crestal osteotomy and the lifting of a cortical operculum which adheres to the sinus membrane in a safe manner, without damaging tissue. The SinCrest drills are equipped with depth stops that allow obtaining a guiding hole in the alveolar bone as close as possible to the maxillary sinus membrane. The innovative SinCrest manual osteotome was designed to obtain the controlled fracture of the bone floor through a 0.5 mm step-by-step progress. The probe included in the SinCrest osteotome allows the constant monitoring of the residual resistance of the maxillary sinus and its lifting without leading to the perforation of the sinus membrane. The SinCrest technique may be used in case of a residual bone availability ranging from 5 to 11 mm and in any sufficient anatomic condition to stabilise the osteotome in the implant site.
Over the course of evolution mussels have developed a special glue that not only works under water, but is also a particularly firm and lasting bonding agent. The strength of the bond is due to a particular protein.
Dr. Klaus Rischka, a chemist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research IFAM in Bremen and his partners at Frankfurt University Hospital, the Center of Biotechnical Engineering BitZ at Darmstadt University of Technology, the State Materials Testing Institute MPA and the implant manufacturer Straumann in Freiburg will initially demonstrate the glue`s suitability on the basis of a dental implant made of titanium.
It is current practice to anchor tooth implants in the jaw bone without an adhesive. This often leaves gaps between the gums and the metal, allowing bacteria to enter and cause infections. A glue that firmly connects the gums to the implant would serve as an effective barrier against aggressive germs.
Conventional products are not suited to such a purpose, however, as they would sooner or later dissolve in the moist environment inside the mouth.
The use of this substance in medical applications requires an additional ingredient: a growth protein, which can likewise be synthetically produced using the classic technique of solid-phase peptide synthesis. Its purpose is to stimulate cell growth so that the body`s own tissue -in this case the gums – bonds as closely as possible with the implant.
A novel implant based solution for stimulating interdental/interimplant papilla was recently granted a US Patent. The solution involves the placement of a small tack between the implants, which acts as a scaffold for papilla formation.
Materialise has filed a US lawsuit against Nobel Biocare for patent infringement. Materialise contends that Nobel Biocare’s manufacture of “NobelGuide” drilling template violates a Materialise U.S. patent that was issued in 1998 relating to Materialise’s “SurgiGuide” techniques. The lawsuit in the U.S. is effectively an extension of a similar action in Europe where this past August the District Court of Dusseldorf ordered Nobel Biocare AB and Nobel Biocare Deutschland GmbH to stop offering the NobelGuide drilling templates in Germany, finding that they infringed Materialise’s analogous European Patent. This decision is subject to an appeal of Nobel Biocare pending at the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals. Materialise’s U.S. lawsuit is also a response to a recent Nobel Biocare civil action (also filed in the Central District Court of California) that seeks declaratory judgments that Materialise’s U.S. patent is both not infringed by Nobel Biocare’s products and is invalid. Bart Swaelens, CEO of Materialise Dental, said: “With this lawsuit, we are protecting our technology. Our “SimPlant” software was launched in 1991, and was followed by our “SurgiGuide” drill guides in 1999. The introduction of NobelGuide by Nobel Biocare, on the other hand, did not occur until 2005. “
The ITI (International Team for Implantology) has released their second hardcover treatment guide. Volume 2 of the ITI Treatment Guide deals with the clinical aspects of various treatment protocols in the anterior and posterior regions for both single- and multi-tooth gaps as well as for free-end situations. Besides an analysis of recent literature on the topic of “Loading protocols in implant dentistry”, volume 2 of the ITI Treatment Guide provides the practitioner with a framework for risk analysis and subsequent implant treatment planning for partially dentate patients. Volume 2 was officially launched at the 2007 EAO Congress in Barcelona.
Innovative Implant Technology has released their new system for performing internal sinus lifts. The one-time use kit includes a sinu-drill and 2 flexible plastic curette for elevating the sinus. The sinu-drill design features 2 colored knobs to allow controlled removal of the sub-antral bone without perforating the sinus membrane. The website has an excellent animated technique movie.
French dental implant manufacturer TBR Group has received the 2007 Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award for their hybrid Zirconia-Titanium dental implant previously profiled on OsseoTech.com.
JDentalCare has designed and developed JDTorque® ,a torque wrench for surgical and prosthetic use. It is a universal wrench and it can be used as a torque wrench or as a traditional ratchet for every implant system with the appropriate adapter. The high mechanical resistance along with the great elasticity of the plastic material PEEK allows it to measure torque up to 80 Ncm. This material is extremely light compared with metals and can undergo thousands sterilization cycles at temperatures up to 134°C without changing its mechanical characteristic. The torque wrench doesn`t require any mounting or dismounting saving maintenance time.
Imadent was issued a US Patent for its ultrasonic jaw imaging system. The system includes a specially configured ultrasonic probe, a position locator module for defining the probe location and transmitting the definition to a computer which re-assembles the image. Imadent is one of the first companies that has been able to use ultrasound technologies to create high-resolution, cross-sectional images of hard tissues such as bone. The company’s technology allows for real-time imaging of a patient’s jaw during dental surgery, increasing the safety and efficacy and lowering the cost of dental implantation and other dental surgical procedures. “Imadent’s technology uses ultrasound, a harmless imaging technology, to image hard tissues such as bones, and that is a major breakthrough,” said BioEnterprise Corporation President Matt Jennings. “The proper placement of dental implants is critical as misplacement can cause permanent nerve or sinus damage. Imadent’s technology can significantly lessen the possibility of such damage, making the procedure safer, more affordable, and thus more attractive to both patients and clinicians.”
Morgan Advanced Ceramics have developed a method for injection moulding of zirconia abutments. At its injection moulding facility at Stourport in the UK, Morgan Advanced Ceramics is able to produce the highly complex geometries required for custom-designed dental abutments. It can produce these, and their associated retaining and jawbone screws, accurately, in volume and with a high degree of repeatability. Paul Manison, Project Manager, Morgan Advanced Ceramics explains: “The dental implant market is growing fast. We are working with a number of customers in this sector to help them achieve new, complex designs cost-effectively. Manufacturing tolerances on these CIM parts are typically in the range ¡Ó0.3% and we are producing large volumes – typically upwards of 2,000 pieces – faster, more cost-effectively and with better repeatability than could ever be achieved using CNC-machining.”
Clear Choice Dental Implant centers provide one stop implant services: CT-Scan, surgery and restorations. They exclusively use one manufacturer`s products and protocols, in this case Nobel Biocare. Two Centers are open so far in Austin TX and Denver CO, with ten more centers planned to open across North America.
Dentak have released an innovative combination trephine/bonemill/delivery system for harvesting and delivering autogenous bone. The trephines which come in a variety of sizes from 3.2mm to 6.2mm feature a drill blade inside the trephine which mills the bone as it is removed by the trephine. The whole trephine is then placed in a handle for delivery to the recipient site.
Satelec have released their new `ImplantCenter`, which features both a micromotor with very high torque (120 n/cm max) as well as 2 piezoelectric handpieces. The `Piezotome` handpiece is used to perform piezoelectric-based surgery while the `Newtron` is a piezon scaling and maintenance handpiece. It also features 2 peristaltic pumps for simultaneous use of both types of handpieces.
The Swedish medical technology company Astra Tech AB is purchasing the US dental company Atlantis Components Inc. for USD 71 million in cash. This business deal is part of Astra Tech’s growth strategy. “The purchase of Atlantis gives us an even stronger product portfolio in the field of dental implants. We strengthen our position in the North American market and can introduce the latest digital CAD/CAM technology in Europe. This also gives us a leading position in the fastest growing segment in the field of implants,” says Astra Tech’s President and CEO, Peter Selley. “Our objective is to be one of the three largest dental implant companies within the next three years,” Peter Selley continues.
Nobel Biocare has released a one-piece implant design `NobelOverdenture` for use in edentulous situations. It features narrow diameter and one piece for ease of handling. It promises to deliver a cost-effective option to secure dentures.
A team of Brown University engineers, led by Thomas Webster, has discovered a new material that could significantly increase osseointegration success rate. Osteoblasts grow faster and produce more calcium on anodized titanium covered in carbon nanotubes compared with plain anodized titanium and the non-anodized version currently used in orthopaedic implants. The work, published in Nanotechnology, uncovers a new material that can be used to make more successful implants. The research also shows tantalizing promise for an all-new device: a “smart” implant that can sense and report on bone growth
Straumann has released their new implant – the `bone level` implant. It features the SLActive surface all the way up to the top of the implant. The abutments are anatomically shaped and feature a `platform-switching` concept. It appears that this design is a response to concerns regarding esthetics and recession with implants in the esthetic zone. Straumann reports that `Intermediate data from the first clinical study show excellent esthetic results with regard to both hard and soft tissues indicating a low risk for recession and no esthetic complications.` The BLI implant is available in a limited market release in the US.
The new method exploits a membrane-spanning protein called TRPV1, which is unique to pain-sensing neurons. TRPV1 forms a large channel, where molecules can enter and exit the cell. But a “gate” typically blocks this opening. The gate opens when cells are exposed to heat or the chili-pepper ingredient capsaicin. Thus, bathing pain-sensing neurons in capsaicin leaves these channels open, but non-pain sensing neurons are unaffected because they do not possess TRPV1.
“We’re optimistic that this method will eventually be applied to humans and change our experience during procedures ranging from knee surgery to tooth extractions,” adds Professor Clifford Woolf of Massachusetts General Hospital, who is senior author on the study
Despite enormous investments by industry, surgical pain management has changed little since the first successful demonstration of ether general anesthesia at MGH in 1846. General and local anesthetics work by interfering with the excitability of all neurons, not just pain-sensing ones. Thus, these drugs produce dramatic side effects, such as loss of consciousness in the case of general anesthetics or temporary paralysis for local anesthetics.
“We’re offering a targeted approach to pain management that avoids these problems,” says Woolf.
“Eventually this method could completely transform surgical and post-surgical analgesia, allowing patients to remain fully alert without experiencing pain or paralysis,” says Woolf.
Implant Logic Systems is a service which both plans implant positioning and manufactures a custom surgical drill guide to place the implants according to the treatment plan. They use both `Simplant` and a custom software package, VIP, to plan the implant position using CT-Scan data. Their Pilot Compu-Guide Drill Kit is used to ensure accurate osteotomy positioning using the custom designed drill guide and sleeves.
A Washington State disciplinary board has fined a Lynnwood dentist $10,000, suspended his license at least through the end of the year and ordered him to take 41 hours of continuing education courses. The case involved a patient treated between June 2004 and November 2006 who needed nine dental implants. In its order, the commission found that the dentist failed to adequately examine, assess, evaluate, diagnose or develop a treatment plan for the patient.
He did not adequately check out the patient`s complaints of severe pain during eight follow up visits after the surgery. One of implants had either been installed in or had migrated into the patient`s sinus cavity, the commission found. No X-rays were taken for six months following the surgery, according to the disciplinary board. The dentist also prescribed more than 3,148 tablets of two narcotics for pain, Oxycodone and Percocet, during a 29-month period ending in November 2006. The commission said that he did not document the reasons for prescribing the high levels of narcotics, calling it extremely excessive.
The commission officially suspended his license for seven years. However, the suspension could be put on hold after Jan. 1 if he meets the continuing education, mentoring and other requirements specified in the order.
The dentist`s attorney has requested reconsideration of one part of the order, which prevents him from doing surgical implant procedures.
Professor Markus Buehler of MIT`s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has revealed for the first time the role of bone`s atomistic structure in a toughening mechanism that incorporates two theories previously proposed by researchers eager to understand the secret behind the material`s lightweight strength. He studied the molecular structure of the mineralized collagen fibrils that make up level 2 bone, hoping to find the mechanism behind bone`s strength, which is considerable for such a lightweight, porous material. When pressure is applied to the fabric-like fibrils, some of the weak bonds between the collagen molecules and crystals break, creating small gaps or stretched areas in the fibrils. This stretching spreads the pressure over a broader area, and in effect, protects other, stronger bonds within the collagen molecule itself, which might break outright if all the pressure were focused on them. The stretching also lets the tiny crystals shift position in response to the force, rather than shatter, which would be the likely response of a larger crystal.
The left side of Lincoln`s face was much smaller than the right, an aberration called cranial facial microsomia. The defect joins a long list of ailments – including smallpox, heart illness and depression – that modern doctors have diagnosed in Lincoln. Laser scans of two life masks, made from plaster casts of Lincoln`s face, reveal the 16th president`s unusual degree of facial asymmetry. The scanning technique is usually used to create 3-D images of children with cleft lip and palate before and after surgery. Dr. Ronald Fishman, who led the study published in the August issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology teamed up with Dr. Adriana Da Silveira, an Austin, Texas, orthodontist who specializes in children with facial defects, to scan a bronze and a plaster copy of two life masks, owned by the Chicago History Museum.
Tissue Engineering Researchers at the University of Tokyo Hospital and venture company Next 21 are using 3D inkjet printers to produce tailor-made artificial bones for use in facial reconstructive surgery. To make an artificial bone with this technology, a 3D computer model of the bone is first created based on the patient’s X-ray and CT scan data. The computer model is then sliced into a large number of cross-sections and the data is sent to a special 3D inkjet printer, which works like an ordinary inkjet printer by transferring tiny droplets of liquid onto a surface. However, unlike ordinary printers that print on paper, this one prints onto thin layers of powdered alpha-tricalcium phosphate (alpha-TCP). The “ink” is a water-based polymer adhesive that hardens the alpha-TCP it comes into contact with. By repeatedly laying down the powder and printing successive layers on top of one another, the printer is able to physically reproduce the desired bone to an accuracy of one millimeter
Straumann has released a set of drill stops for use with their single-use implant drills. The color coded drill stops come in a kit designed for a specific depth e.g 8mm. The small size of the drill stops offer an optimum view of the treatment area and openings on the drill stops facilitate irrigation and removal of bone chips.
Drillstops.com has released a series of drill stops designed for use with the Straumann and compatible systems. They also have an adjustable depth guide which features analogs of the narrow, standard and wide neck implant platforms allowing for a more accurate visualization of the position of the implant neck.
The gauge has been renamed `Verban Depth Gauge` after its inventor Dr. Emil Verban.
Nobel Biocare`s CEO Heliane Canepa has been replaced. Domenico Scala has been named its new chief executive, replacing Heliane Canepa, as of Sept 1, 2007. Nobel Biocare Chairman, Rolf Soiron, explained the decision to replace Canepa by saying: `An international company of this size should not be so greatly identified with a single person as has been the case at Nobel Biocare`. Swiss Sunday paper, SonntagsZeitung, reported Heliane Canepa has come under fire over allegations that the Swedish-Swiss dental implant maker has issued misleading statements regarding the safety of its NobelDirect and NobelPerfect implants.
Canepa said once she leaves the company, she will pursue undertakings of her own.
France`s Anthrogyr has released a new implant handpiece. The `Montblanc` handpiece features a very high torque maximum rating of 80ncm and includes a handy adjustable drip stop that provides additional safety during implant bed preparation. The handpiece is distributed by Aseptico in the USA.
Ziterion of Germany has released a new one-piece implant design `Zit-Implants` that feature exactly the same implant design but are made from either Titanium or Zirconium. The surgical protocol is identical for both implants and allows the surgeon to decide on the material to be used for the implants at the time of implant placement.
Ingenious Dentistry LLC has released a radiographic marker that features one or three precision stainless steel ball bearings sized at 5mm. These are placed at the time radiographs are taken and used to calibrate the resulting radiographic image. Their site features some good tips and explains how to calculate the actual size of the object of interest in the calibrated xray.
Implantvision has released both a PC-based and web-based version of their patient education solution, Patient-VU. This application is specifically geared towards implantology practice. These products feature narrated videos and animation to demonstrate various common implantology-related concepts to patients.
This Swedish company has designed an implant system based on generic implant concepts, but incorporates an efficient packaging system and a web-based reorder/inventory system. Their `White Book` makes for interesting reading.
Bredent Medical of Germany have designed an implant system which allows the use of either a titanium or a zirconium implant. The surgical instruments are the same in either case. Their zirconium based `White-Sky` implant is made from `brezirkon` and is of the one-piece implant and abutment design. The implants come in 3.5mm, 4mm and 4.5 mm diameters with lengths from 8-12mm.
UK Researchers have developed a robotic system that mimics human biting and chewing. The `Dento-Munch` system will be used to test dental materials for wear and tear. It is seen as a less expensive and less time-consuming alternative to clinical trials. The robot that can reproduce the full movement of the human jaw. Two platforms act as the upper and lower jaws, with the lower jaw capable of moving in 6 degrees of freedom. Just like the human jaw, it can move and rotate around each 3D axis: up and down, forwards and backwards, and left and right. The software controlling the motors and gearboxes inside `Dento-Munch` are also designed to respond to loads in a similar way to muscles and tendons.
The Swedish Medical Products Agency(SMPA) released a demand for Nobel Biocare to improve the instructions for both its NobelDirect and NobelPerfect implants. Previously Nobel Biocare had released a response to the recent marketing ban on their NobelDirect implant following reports that it lost an excessive amount of bone following placement. The SMPA stood by its decision that the firm not be allowed to market the implants until it had carried out the improvement of the instructions. The SMPA stated that the instructional information must be supplemented and further clarified. As an example, the SMPA described Nobel Biocare`s instruction statement: “you don´t have to be a specialist to prepare the site for NobelDirect” as `inappropriate`.
Zimmer Dental has released a one-piece implant design. It features a straight and angled version with the abutment integrated into the implant. The abutments are asymmetrically contoured and intended for immediate restoration protocols. The implants come in 3mm, 3.7mm and 4.7 mm diameters.
Nobel Biocare released another implant design called `NobelActive` at their world conference in Las Vegas. This design features
a new thread pattern. They claim that: `The one-stage implant features a unique shape and a new thread design with a “self-drilling” capability to facilitate drilling protocols in areas of narrower osteotomy. The product is easy to use and provides high initial stability and good outcomes. NobelActive(tm) has been designed for increased soft tissue volume at the head of the implant, resulting in improved esthetics.`
The continuing FDA ban on importation of Biora`s Emdogain and Bone Substitute has cost parent company Straumann 10 million Swiss francs (8.14 million US$). Straumann chief executive Gilbert Achermann described the loss as `painful`. He furthermore stated that `The US FDA will reinspect our facility in Malmo, but we are not in a position to say when this will happen, If all goes well`, Biora products `could be reintroduced in the US in the first quarter of this year,` Additionally, `According to Achermann, the resumption of the company`s exports to the US depends on the results of an ongoing investigation by US authorities which could last several months.`
Swiss implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare has signed an exclusive agreement with Wyeth Pharmaceutical manufacturer of Bone Morphogenic Protein rhBMP-2. They claim that: `TiUnite(r) will serve as the foundation for the next generation of dental implants with the potential of eliminating the need to graft and use of membranes. Nobel Biocare is currently in clinical testing of an implant designed to create its own bone. This implant will be treated with a bone morphogenetic protein rhBMP-2 (a recombinant version of a naturally occurring human protein).` and furthermore they claim: `it will drastically change the indications for dental implants. Patients that currently do not qualify for implants will now be able to be treated.`.
Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant has taken a 10% stake in Swiss dental implant manufacturer Thommen Medical. According to a press release, Novartis`s stake will rise to 20% later in the summer. Andreas Stutz, Thommen Medical CEO says: “Novartis is a strategic partner for us. This opens completely new possibilities in the area of research. The understanding of soft-tissue and bone biology becomes more and more important for the producers of dental implants. Furthermore, we see the interest of Novartis in Thommen Medical as a confirmation of the work we have achieved over the past years.”