Dentistry’s game changers – Michael Norton on Astra implants
To celebrate 25 years of Dentistry magazine, we’ve asked leading dental professionals for their game-changing innovation that shaped their career. In this article we asked Dr Michael Norton what his game-changing product is.
Michael graduated at the University of Wales College of Medicine Dental School in 1988. He gained distinctions in general medicine, surgery and oral biology.
For over 25 years Michael has led the way for implant dentistry in the UK. He has become one of the world’s most respected educators and researchers. His considerable portfolio of peer-reviewed research is widely cited.
In 2017 Michael was the 31st president of the Academy of Osseointegration and the first ever non-American President of this global organisation.
Michael is also a past president of the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI, UK). He became an honorary life member in 2011 for his services and dedication to the ADI.
Michael is currently the practice principal at Norton Implants in London.
Michael Norton’s game-changing product
It may be necessary for me to go back just a little further than 25 years to 1990.
I was a research student at The Royal London Hospital studying the embryonic field of implant dentistry, when I first got introduced to the, as yet, non-commercial Astra implant.
In those days only the Brånemark implant was making inroads commercially. The Astra implant was just embarking on its journey.
I was very fortunate to be asked by the Swedish company Astra Meditec, as it was then, a subsidiary of Astra Pharmaceuticals before it had even merged with the British pharmaceutical company Zeneca, to be a clinical consultant and to help them in both research and development and commercial launch activities.
In fact, I sold the very first Astra implant system in November 1990. And I’ve been an integral part of the progress ever since.
Setting the tone
It has been very gratifying to see how this implant has grown over the subsequent 25 years.
It is now one of the top three premier brands in the world, and I am proud to have made such a significant contribution to its development.
This includes the latest iteration, the Astra Tech Implant EV, now under the Dentsply Sirona banner.
It is fair to say that the Astra Tech implant has defined my career and my life.
In particular it provided me with unbelievable opportunities in both the commercial and research worlds, which I fear I may never have otherwise experienced.
But most important of all it allowed me to develop a successful implant practice, which thrives to this day.
Working together with some of the greatest minds in the industry like Stig Hansson, Tomas Albrektsson and Jan Lindhe I found myself at the epicentre of a remarkable breakthrough in implant design, when in 1992 we developed and launched the world’s first micro-textured and micro-threaded implant.
This eventually set the tone for all that has followed with most, if not all, implants today benefitting from these features.
I cannot imagine my daily practice without this implant and everything that it represents in my career.
The Astra Tech Implant System is simple and reliable: a minimum of components with maximum flexibility.
You can use it for all indications and all positions in the mouth.
It is ideal for both one-stage and two-stage surgery and it is also suitable for immediate and early loading.
For more information about Astra implants visit www.dentsplysirona.com/en/explore/implantology/astra-tech-implant-system.html.