A milestone: The first long-term study on two-piece zirconia implants was published. In the independent study at the University Hospital Düsseldorf in Germany osseointegrated Patent™ Implants exhibited healthy soft tissues, stable bone levels and no peri-implantitis after 9 years. In this interview, Marco Waldner, CEO of Zircon Medical, talks about the significance of the long-term study.
Marco Waldner, presenting the results of the independent 9-year study at IDS 2023 in Cologne.
Congratulations, no peri-implantitis after over 9 years – this sounds too good to be true. What do you say about the long-term study results?
These are good news for practitioners. We are proud to demonstrate that in times of increasing peri-implantitis rates (according to the definition by Berglundh and Derks[1, 2]), it is possible to reduce or even prevent chronic inflammations like peri-implantitis with an implant system and its associated concept. For this purpose, the Patent™ Dental Implant System was developed.
Healthy and stable hard and soft tissues, no implant fractures, no peri-implantitis – how can these results be explained?
If you take a closer look at the Patent™ System, it becomes clear and logical. It has a soft-tissue-level design, thus no micro-gap at the bone level. Additionally, it has a unique surface topography for predictable integration into the hard and soft tissues. The adhesive prosthetic concept prevents the penetration of bacteria into the internal connection and provides ideal force transmission into the bone due to the tulip shape. Micro-movements can thus be avoided. In summary, it is the purposeful combination of design, material, surface topography, and prosthetic concept.
Who is Zircon Medical and why the name Patent™?
Zircon Medical is the leading manufacturer of zirconia dental implants with protected manufacturing processes. With over twenty years of expertise, Zircon Medical has technological leadership in this field. Patent™ is the brand name of the implant system manufactured by Zircon Medical. Why this name? Patents are only granted when you are one step ahead of the market. We have fourteen patents that protect our production technologies. The special product features generated by these patents, which are crucial for the proven long-term success of the Patent™ system, can only be applied by us.
What implications do the study results have for clinical practice?
With Patent™, users can achieve highly aesthetic results as the soft tissue remains stable and does not recede, which means that the material won’t begin to shimmer through. Outstanding biological results can also be achieved thanks to stable bone levels and the absence of peri-implantitis. At the end of the day, it's about predictability. For users who pay a premium price for a medical device, this is crucial. Without long-term data, there is no predictability. Without predictability, all that remains is hope that a product will function as promised in daily practice. This is not in the best interest of a practitioner.
Reproducibility in daily practice – can you prove that?
This is the crucial point. The study results align with what our long-standing users – who have been using Patent™ for over 10 years – experience in daily practice. They report the same results back to us: healthy and stable hard and soft tissues, and no peri-implantitis even after years of implant function. This demonstrates that the results are achieved not only in the isolated context of a scientific study, but also in daily practice.