Novel Dental Implants
Design, fabrication and testing of a novel surgical tool and dental implant in collaboration with Boston University Dental School.
Novel Dental Implants: Tooth loss leads to local resorption of the jaw bone. The longer the tooth is missing, the more bone is lost. When using dental implants, bone augmentation with cadaver bone is the most common solution to enlarge the jawbone at the desired implant site. More than 50% of patients require bone augmentation before or during dental implant placement.
The PiezoImplant system, jointly developed by the Fraunhofer USA CMI and the Boston University Dental School, is based on the concept that the implant should match the shape of the available bone, thus eliminating the need for bone augmentation.
A piezotome is a miniature bone saw vibrating at ultrasonic frequencies and sub-millimeter amplitudes. The piezotome is capable of creating various shapes of non-round cuts, thus for narrow bone ridges bone cuts can be made and flat implants may be precisely fitted. The non-round nature of the newly developed implants allows for a stronger implant to be placed into the narrow ridge of the recessed jaw bone.
During the design of the piezotomes, Fraunhofer USA CMI employed advanced finite element and modal analysis tools to match the natural frequency of the piezotome tool to that of the instrument. A number of successive tools were developed to facilitate the step-by-step shaping of the implant site, beginning with a traditional round drill, continuing with a course roughing tool and finishing with a fine finishing tool.
Prototypes for both implants and piezotomes have been fabricated and tested. The PiezoImplants were examined with respect to fatigue and stress distribution during and after placement. In vivo testing is currently in progress to assess the integration and functionality of the PiezoImplant. This is accomplished by placing PiezoImplants in the mouth of mini pigs and monitoring the success of the implant.
Collaborators / Funding
- Serge Dibart, Boston University Dental School