The process behind dental implants will soon change with the introduction of intraoral welding technology. This technology incorporates a titanium framework welded together in the mouth that can be immediately fitted with a prosthesis for improved placement of dental implants. The first successful procedure using this method in the U.K. was recently performed by Dr. Peter Sanders of Dental Confidence in Southampton. Dr. Sanders trained intensively with Dr. Marco Degidi in Bologna, Italy and is now the first U.K. dentist to offer this advanced technique.
According to Dr. Sanders, “The biggest challenge in precision dentistry is transferring accurate information from the mouth to the model . . . If inaccuracies exist, the framework has to be recast and therefore this process can often be long winded.” He continues to state that “With Intraoral Welding, the framework is welded to the components in the patient’s mouth, and is therefore completely accurate from the outset.”
This intraoral welding process consists of titanium abutments that are welded together in the patient’s mouth using pressure and heat produced by electric current. A titanium bar is welded to the titanium abutments to form a framework which supports the prosthetic tooth. One advantage of the intraoral welding framework over traditional dental implants is that the framework can be created instantly and the implant can be placed the same day. This also reduces the cost as Dr. Sanders explains, “the welding technique means there is no waiting time for the laboratory to cast a framework . . . Instead I am able to create a framework instantly, and therefore the cost for implant loaded bridges and dentures is significantly reduced.”
Advantages of the New Technique = More Accurate Dental Implants
Another advantage is that the framework completed by this process is completely passive which means that it is free of complications such as failures in the screws or structure that may occur with traditional implants. This also allows for fast recovery from the surgery. The first patient to receive the treatment from Dr. Sanders, Dave Dougan, said, “The surgery was entirely pain free and the implants are perfectly comfortable. . . I was eating food the following day.”
The advantages of intraoral welding could lead to more widespread use of this process, especially now that developers have perfected the level of pressure and electric current needed to safely weld the framework. Currently, only a few dental implantologists throughout the world have received the specialist training necessary to perform the procedure but more dentists are expected to adopt the technique. As Dr. Sanders concludes, “Intra oral welding shortens treatment time, increases precision and consequently improves the overall success rate of implant placement.”