DMX's Narrow-Body Implants Provide Affordable Solutions
Bernard Weissman, who acquired Sweden-based Dentatus AB in 1988, has a long history of bringing problem-solving products to the dental industry. The acquisition provided him with the means to design, test, and produce new, innovative implant products.
In collaboration with the New York University College of Dentistry, where he was a clinical professor for more than 25 years, Weissman developed Dentatus' transitional MTI™ Narrow-Body implant, which solved problems related to lengthy implant restorative intervals. This one-visit, chairside treatment innovation was the first implant designed for immediate replacement of missing teeth. Providing much-needed stability, MTI was able to fit into thin bone foundations and narrow spaces where wider body implants could not be used without costly and lengthy bone augmentation procedures.
These innovations were followed by other Dentatus implants, according to Nita Weissman Okamoto, President, DMX Implants, a Division of Dentatus. These products, she maintains, are aimed at the enormous population for whom traditional implants have been cost-prohibitive, and are supported by published data showing high bone adaptation and high survival rates on par with wider implants. Noting that only about 12% of the US population who could benefit from implants receive them, Weissman Okamoto believes Dentatus is positioned to step into the breach.
The company's Anew® Narrow-Body Implants, which she says have been in continuous use since 2001, are designed for patients with limited interdental spaces, insufficient bone requiring otherwise lengthy bone augmentation procedures, or financial constraints. "Anew's prosthetic components provide patients with a fixed restoration at the time of placement. The non-hygroscopic screwcap abutment allows for implants to be easily monitored, altered, and adapted to a permanent restoration." The Atlas® system is another narrow-body implant that Weissman Okamoto says is geared toward the estimated 39 million American denture wearers. "Atlas is something the general practitioner can use for the huge population who will never be able to afford large-diameter implants unless something radical is done about the pricing," she says. Beyond the cost benefit, she notes the advantage of potential lost work time incurred by the number of visits required for full-flap surgery and other aspects of placing large implants.
On the horizon, Dentatus will offer its expanded Anew Hybrid implant systems, which will feature interchangeable platforms. These systems, according to Weissman Okamoto, will provide simpler and more affordable means for healthcare providers to "serve their patients' widest restorative needs."
Weissman Okamoto is encouraged by several indications that those who would best be served by bone-saving implants will be more likely to get them in the future. This, she says, includes the 2002 McGill consensus statement that dentures should be retained with at least two implants, and the 2004 ADEA conference report recommendations that dental students learn how to restore a lower denture retained by implants.
"The result of the ADEA conference was that we should be retaining lower dentures with implants, and students are to be learning how to restore them. Plus, we should be placing more single implants and not cutting down healthy, virgin teeth." Additionally, she notes the importance of the ADA's 2008 general practitioners' office brochure highlighting benefits of narrow-body implants, as well as 2009 insurance code changes related to modification of prosthesis following implants. Dentatus is committed to both public and professional education that will make those who would benefit from implants aware of them and the clinicians who offer them, says Weissman Okamoto. "We are a PACE AGD-accredited CE institute. Our website has been written for the consumer at www.denturecomfort.com. The site includes a locator of doctors who take our courses, so patients can find a dentist to perform this service."
What's next for DMX Implants, as well as the world of implant dentistry?
Weissman Okamoto points to the "perfect storm" of high success rates, improved designs, lower cost, and increased public awareness, all of which are likely to drive demand for implants. "As the price goes down and accessibility goes up, more and more people will choose those implants as an option to a three-unit bridge or other procedures."
She clearly believes this is as it should be. "I think it's important that doctors learn how to provide the smaller implants to their patients. I do think we can offer a less complicated, less expensive procedure that can improve patients' quality of life. Anew and Atlas Narrow-Body implants offer new treatment opportunities for those who would otherwise forego implant treatment," she says.
DMX Implants, a Division of Dentatus
54 West 39th St
New York, NY 10018