Dental Tribune USA

Interview: ‘Oral implants have become a very mainstream approach’

By Sierra Rendon, DTA
October 15, 2014

NEW YORK, N.Y., USA: In an interview with Dental Tribune America, Clark M. Stanford, DDS, PhD., dean of the UIC College of Dentistry and board member of the Academy of Osseointegration (AO), discusses recent advances in dental implants, as well as AO’s efforts to serve as a nexus for those who place or restore implants to learn together.

Current outcomes of oral implants show that between 95 and 98 percent are stable and functioning as intended. What are some recent advances that contribute to this superior clinical outcome?
There are a number of recent advances, such as:

  • Computer-guided surgery and dental CAD/CAM technologies that can make surgical and restorative phases of implant therapy more predictable and efficient. These technologies can also enable more accurate placement of implants and create better aesthetics for patients, which is highly important.
  • New technologies are building on comprehensive diagnostic assessments of patients, such as stereolithographic models created from cone-beam computed tomography data combined with software treatment planning. This process enables planning of surgical templates that accurately guide implants into position and creates better efficiencies for clinicians and patients.
  • New technologies reduce the invasive nature of the surgery for placing implants in compromised bone, making more patients eligible for the benefits of implant treatment.
  • Increased collaboration among dental and medical professionals during implant treatment planning.
  • Ongoing research evaluating the correlations between risk factors and implant failure leads to reduction in complications, such as failed osseointegration, and better maintenance therapies for long-lasting success

What are some tips for practicing dentists to ensure these success rates remain high?

  • Get proper training.
  • Follow guidelines (such as the Academy of Osseointegration Guidelines, which are available for all dental professionals to download at
  • Stay up to date on the most recent evidence-based research.
  • Know when to refer.
  • Increase collaboration with dental partners.
  • Educate patients about the importance of ongoing maintenance therapy.

Would you say oral implants have become a robust and commonly used form of tooth replacement therapy?
Yes. With hundreds of thousands being placed and restored each year — and that number is growing — oral implants have become a very mainstream approach for the rehabilitation of patients, to the point where it has actually changed a lot of what we do in terms of dental care services.

We now have more than three decades worth of sophisticated research on their use. The literature has shown — with a range of both highly controlled and outcome-based clinical studies — that for a majority of applications implants function very well in their intended manner and in a range of different situations.

With the global implant dentistry market expected to double by 2018, it is increasingly important for specialists and general dentists involved in implant dentistry to work together to represent our field in the best light possible.

The Academy of Osseointegration (AO) is working hard to serve as a nexus where all of us who place or restore implants can all come together. Together we are evaluating emerging research, technology and techniques, sharing best practices and ultimately coordinating optimal patient care using timely, evidence-based information. I’m proud to be a part of that.

If you’re considering joining AO, more information about its member benefits can be found at


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