ITI Congress speaker Irena Sailer talks to Implant Dentistry Today about the major advances being made in the field of dental implants
Implant Dentistry Today: There have been many advances in restorative materials for implant dentistry in the last five years. Where do you feel the big advances will be in five years’ time?
Irena Sailer: In the next five years we will experience a significant increase in the digitalisation of dentistry. Steps that are currently being performed manually, such as the initial diagnostics of the patient situation, planning reconstruction, implant positions, and fabricating reconstructions chairside or by a dental technician in the lab, will be performed on the computer screen.
New restorative materials will be available, possibly offering new possibilities. Finally, the maintenance of patients at recall visits will be monitored using extra- and intraoral scanning methods and specialised software.
IDT: In your opinion, what is the material of choice for exceptional aesthetic restorations in the pre-maxilla, and why?
IS: Any material can offer exceptional aesthetics in the hands of a skilled dental technician and with collaboration from the entire restorative team: the dentist, technician and patient. Considering the successful results of all-ceramic reconstructions shown in systematic reviews, this material can be recommended in case of aesthetic single-unit reconstructions.
When it comes to multi-unit reconstructions, metal ceramics are the material of choice for good long-term stability. Zirconia-based reconstructions can be used alternatively; their aesthetics may be better, but chipping of the veneering ceramic still has to be considered.
IDT: Do you feel the introduction of ceramic implants will lead to better aesthetic outcomes for patients overall, or will titanium still be the main state for implant surgery?
IS: Ceramic implants are aesthetically beneficial over titanium implants. The current scientific documentation is still scarce. Ceramics are brittle and, therefore, prone to fracture over time. Before ceramic implants may be considered as valid alternatives, long-term studies documenting their outcomes over time are needed.
IDT: What do you think will be the greatest advances in implant dentistry that will affect the way practices are run?
IS: Shorter implants and narrower implants enabling less invasive surgical procedures will be the main advances in implant dentistry.
Dr Irena Sailer will be presenting Advances in implant restorative materials on Saturday 7 March during the ITI Congress UK & Ireland 2015 in London. For more information, visit the ITI Congress website here.
Dr Irena Sailer is professor and head of the Division of Fixed Prosthodontics and Occlusion at the University of Geneva. Dr Sailer received her dental education and DMD degree from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Germany in 1997 and 1998. In 2003, Dr Sailer was made assistant professor at the Clinic of Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics and Dental Material Sciences in Zurich, where she was associate professor between 2010 and September 2013. In 2007, Dr Sailer was a visiting scholar at the Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, Dental College, New York University, USA. Additionally, since 2009 she has held an adjunct associate professorship at the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, Robert Schattner Center, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.