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Volume 17 , Issue 6
November/December 2004

Pages 607 - 641

Quality of Dental Implants*

Asbjørn Jokstad/Urs Braegger/John B. Brunski/Alan B. Carr/Ignace Naert/Ann Wennerberg

Background: Clinicians need quality research data to decide which dental implant should be selected for patient treatment. Aim(s)/Objective(s): To present the scientific evidence for claims of relationship between characteristics of dental implants and clinical performance. Study Design: Systematic search of promotional material and Internet sites to find claims of implant superiority related to specific characteristics of the implant, and of the dental research literature to find scientific support for the claims. Main Outcome Measures: Critical appraisal of the research documentation to establish the scientific external and internal validity as a basis for the likelihood of reported treatment outcomes as a function of implant characteristics. Results: More than 220 implant brands have been identified, produced by about 80 manufacturers. The implants are made from different materials, undergo different surface treatments and come in different shapes, lengths, widths and forms. The dentist can in theory choose among more than 2,000 implants in a given patient treatment situation. Implants made from titanium and titanium alloys appear to perform well clinically in properly surgically prepared bone, regardless of small variations of shapes and forms. Various surface treatments are currently being developed to improve the capacity of a more rapid anchorage of the implant into bone. A substantial number of claims made by different manufacturers on alleged superiority due to design characteristics are not based on sound and long-term clinical scientific research. Implants are, in some parts of the world, manufactured and sold with no demonstration of adherence to any international standards. Conclusions: The scientific literature does not provide any clear directives to claims of alleged benefits of specific morphological characteristics of dental implants.

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