Development of a test for dental implants
The use of titanium implants in the jaw bone as fixtures on which to secure prostheses is increasingly common. The fixtures are implanted in the bone and then left for a period of approximately six months to allow the bone to integrate with the fixture. However there is currently no satisfactory quantitative, clinical method to determine the quality of the integration between the bone and the fixture. This means that in some patients the fixtures are loaded before the process is complete, leading to failures, while in other patients it may be unnecessary to delay for as long as six months before fitting the prosthesis. This project is a collaboration with Professor Neil Meredith at the Leeds Dental Institute and is developing a vibration technique to allow the process of integration to be monitored. The current phase of the project comprises a large clinical trial in four European countries. The method has been patented and a spin-out company, Integration Diagnostics Ltd, has been formed to market the instrumentation. Further details are available at Osstell.