07 April 2010
By Durgesh Nandan Jha
New Delhi, India
Dental implants could soon cost a tenth of what they do now. The Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences (MAIDS), under the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative by the Ministry of Science and Technology, has successfully developed a new, indigenous dental implant which will cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. Screw–shaped dental implants, imported from countries like Israel and the US and used as replacements for missing teeth, cost up to Rs 20,000.
According to Dr Mahesh Verma, principal investigator of the project, five human trials have been successfully completed with the indigenous dental implant which has been fabricated by IIT Delhi engineers. “A team of doctors from MAIDS conceptualised and designed the outline for the implant. After that we approached IIT Delhi, which designed the dental implant for us with the help of high–end computerised numerical control (CNC) machines,” said Verma. Adding that that after the implant was fabricated, its prototypes were outsourced and trials were conducted on rabbits.
“The animal trials, conducted on rabbits for more than six months, were successful. We got a micro CT analysis – to assess the percentage and quality of integration of the implant with the bone – done by a Trivandrum–based research institute which validated the success. Human trials have also shown positive results,” said Dr Abhinav Sood, a senior research associate involved with the project. The dynamic fatigue test, histological test, and static mechanical test carried out to reaffirm the strength and susceptibility of the implant, he said, also showed good results.
An application for a patent for the new implant has been filed.
“The indigenous implants will be a lot cheaper. In India, we have no scarcity of titanium, which the implants are made of, and the only cost is of fabrication,” said Dr Verma. Verma said the implants might cost even less than Rs 2,000.
The implant, which is surgically placed into the jaw bone and covered with a custom–made crown, is used as a replacement for missing teeth. Dentists say missing teeth can be caused by congenital problems, trauma, severe decay, and gum disease. “Usually, people go in for a root canal or dentures, neither of which are permanent. But implants are very costly. However, once the indigenous implants are commercially available at low costs, people will have access to a permanent solution,” said Dr Farooq Faraz, who is also associated with the project. He added that the implants can be used on all patients above 15 years of age, as long as they have good hygiene and do not suffer from diseases like uncontrolled diabetes.
What is Dental Implantology
It’s an advanced medical technology for the treatment of tooth loss. A tooth made of titanium is implanted in the toothless area of the jawbone, which fuses with the titanium surface providing a strong anchorage for the implant
- Artificial teeth made of titanium are used to replace missing teeth. The implant can be done on patients who are more than 15 years old
- Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, IIT Delhi and Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata, with guidance from Centre for Scientific & Industrial Research
- Restores proper chewing function
- Helps stop bone loss and shrinkage of jawbones