Lithoz GmbH, Vienna, Austria, has entered into a collaboration with Dr Jens Tartsch, founder and president of the European Society for Ceramic Implantology (ESCI) to identify new applications and partnerships to further develop additively manufactured ceramic implants in the dental market.
The demand for metal-free dental implants is reportedly increasing due to possible health effects and a reduced tendency to inflammation. Ceramic is said to be the material of choice in these cases concerning material properties and quality as it provides an exceptional combination of biocompatibility, long-term stability and high mechanical performance, thus working well as implants.
Lithoz’s ceramics have been optimised for medical use and the company states that it will soon be certified according to EN ISO 13485. Additively manufactured dental devices overcome the limitations of milled ceramics in terms of design freedom, with the process of their manufacture being particularly efficient due to low levels of material consumption and high productivity.
In addition, since Additive Manufacturing does not require any tools, hard machining of Hot Isostatic Pressed ceramic blanks is no longer necessary, saving costs related to tools and maintenance. AM is already an established technology for numerous dental applications and now ceramics AM is also being introduced to the field of ceramic dental implants.
According to Lithoz, a further application of its VAT photopolymerisation (VPP) based ceramic AM technology, which the company calls LCM (Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing), is bone augmentation using resorbable materials such as hydroxyl apatite or tricalcium phosphate. Interconnected pore network-based implants can be manufactured according to the patient’s bone status, therefore supporting dental implant in-growth in a situation where there is insufficient bone availability in the jaw.
Dr Tartsch is a renowned expert in ceramic implantology in Switzerland, where he works at his private dental clinic in Zurich. His main areas of focus are ceramic implant dentistry, the biomaterial and immunological aspects in dentistry and material incompatibilities. He is an international educator, speaker and author for the topic of ceramic implantology and immunology in dentistry.