The importance of not scratching implants with dental instruments
We recently had a chance to sit down with Angela Fuller, RDH, to discuss a research-based article that she wrote for the October edition of Dental Products Report. You can read the article by clicking here.
In the article, Fuller worked on an extensive study that focused on dental implant maintenance and the instruments used to provide this service in the practice. Fuller and others have discovered that dentists and dental hygienists often scratch the implant without even realizing it because the instruments they are using during maintenance are harder than the titanium implant that has been placed.
“Titanium is not all created equal. That’s the biggest thing that we took away from this study,” Fuller said. “We found that the Rockwell Hardness Scale is the best way to measure a metal’s hardness to see if it’s harder or softer than the implant you’re using. It’s important that you know what you’re using and how you’re using it.”
The scratching of implants is something that has become quite troublesome to many practitioners, Fuller said.
“I’m a member of several Internet forums and questions about this come up quite often,” Fuller said. “People are always asking about implant maintenance and what instruments are best to use. Being so knowledgeable about the subject, it’s amazing to see some of the comments, what people are saying, and the misinformation that is out there.
“Any time you have something that is incorporated into the body permanently, our goal is to keep it as ideal and prime as possible,” she continued. “If we’re taking an instrument that is harder than that material and causing micro-scratches, that allows bacteria to adhere to those surfaces and scratches and cause peri-implantitis.”
Check out the full interview with Fuller here: