Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 26 (2011), Supplement 15. Mar. 2011
The requirements imposed by the enormous scale and overall complexity of designing new implants or complete organ regeneration are well beyond the reach of present technology in many dimensions, including nanoscale, as researchers do not yet have the basic knowledge required to achieve these goals. The need for a synthetic implant to address multiple physical and biologic factors imposes tremendous constraints on the choice of suitable materials. There is a strong belief that nanoscale materials will produce a new generation of implant materials with high efficiency, low cost, and high volume. The nanoscale in materials processing is truly a new frontier. Metallic dental implants have been used successfully for decades, but they have serious shortcomings related to their osseointegration and the fact that their mechanical properties do not match those of bone. This paper reviews recent advances in the fabrication of novel coatings and nanopatterning of dental implants. It also provides a general summary of the state of the art in dental implant science and describes possible advantages of nanotechnology for future improvements. The ultimate goal is to produce materials and therapies that will bring state-of-the-art technology to the bedside and improve quality of life and current standards of care.
Keywords: coatings, dental implants, mechanical properties, nanotechnology, osseointegration, surface engineering