A multidisciplinary team of researchers at KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium) has developed a dental implant that gradually releases drugs from a built-in reservoir. This helps prevent and fight infections.
Our mouth contains many micro-organisms, including bacterial and fungal pathogens. On traditional dental implants, these pathogens can quickly form a so-called biofilm, which is resistant to antimicrobial drugs like antibiotics. As a result, these implants come with a significant risk of infections that may be difficult to treat.
KU Leuven researchers have now developed a new dental implant that reduces the risk of infections. “Our implant has a built-in reservoir underneath the crown of the tooth,” explains lead author Kaat De Cremer. “A cover screw makes it easy to fill this reservoir with antimicrobial drugs (see image 1). The implant is made of a porous composite material, so that the drugs gradually diffuse from the reservoir to the outside of the implant, which is in direct contact with the bone cells (see image 2). As a result, the bacteria can no longer form a biofilm.”
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Read more about dental implant advances: Dental Implant Coatings Could Prevent Common Bacterial Infection