BERLIN, Germany: The non-profit CleanImplant Foundation recently participated in the 2023 International Dental Show (IDS). For its fifth iteration, this year’s CleanImplant group and experts meeting was the largest to date, being attended by over 50 guests, including manufacturers’ representatives and project partners.
“Our interactions at the world’s leading exhibition for the dental industry have proved that more and more dentists and implant manufacturers are increasingly sensitised towards the problem of factory-contaminated implants,” said Dr Dirk U. Duddeck, CleanImplant founder and head of research. He continued: “We’re very pleased with the positive reactions to and feedback on our global initiative at this year’s IDS.”
CleanImplant Foundation: Partner of industry and science
“Having more than 135,000 subscriptions from dental professionals on social media, we understand the CleanImplant Foundation’s role as a partner of industry and science,” Dr Duddeck stated. During the meeting, physicist Dr Birgit Hagenhoff, managing director of analytical laboratory Tascon, and Prof. Patrick R. Schmidlin, head of periodontics at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, along with Dr Duddeck, emphasised the worrisome lack of binding industry standards on implant surface cleanliness. Providing a reference for patients and practitioners, the scientific advisory board of the CleanImplant Foundation established a consensus-based quality guideline for implant surface cleanliness in 2017 to address the increasing backlash over quality in the industry.
An expert in surface analysis, Dr Hagenhoff outlined the various kinds of detectable contamination. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis, she demonstrated a direct correlation between packaging and surface contamination, even on a sterile-packaged ceramic implant, revealing cell-toxic residues on the implant’s surface. Additionally, in his online lecture, Prof. Schmidlin criticised the use of only osseointegration as a success parameter of implantation. According to him, a far more relevant indicator of success is the attachment of the soft tissue to the implant, a process that can be affected by impurities on the implant’s surface.
In this regard, a recently initiated in vitro study led by the University of Zurich in cooperation with the CleanImplant Foundation is investigating the effects of different chemically identified factory-related implant contaminants on bone and soft tissue. “This study will provide answers to the question of a connection between implant surface contaminants on the one hand and previously unexplained early implant failures and poor osseointegration on the other,” Dr Duddeck explained.
On-site SEM analyses of implant surfaces at the CleanImplant booth
A high-resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM), provided by Thermo Fisher Scientific, was installed at the booth to demonstrate the process of analysing implant surfaces live to the numerous spectators at this year’s IDS. Dentists brought sterile-packaged implants from their practices to have them analysed directly. As expected, the findings of the SEM analyses were met with either relief—when the implants were clean—or shock when dentists discovered that implants they had intended to use in patients bore significant contamination.
Dr Duddeck and his team educated attendees about the extent and potential consequences of factory-related contamination of dental implants. Implant systems that have proven batch-spanning particle-free implant surfaces have been awarded the foundation’s “Trusted Quality” seal and received praise and mention by the quality initiative for guidance of practitioners regarding the brands they can trust.