A professor at New York University’s College of Dentistry has come up with a new twist on dental implants that speeds healing, minimizes bone loss, and promotes longevity of the implant.

Professor John Ricci’s design for an implant, whose surface has been precisely engineered for stability, just recently received FDA approval and has just become widely available to dentists. Dr. Ricci, an associate professor of biomaterials and biomimetics at NYU’s College of Dentistry, etched microgrooves that are exactly the size of soft and bone tissue cells — 8-12,000th of a millimeter deep — into the top, or collar, of the implant, using a computer-guided laser to pattern these grooves so that they lock the cells into a “tissue-engineered” seal.

“Because the new LaserLok™ implant prevents bone loss and promotes faster healing of the gums following surgery, dentists can make greater use of early and immediate loading protocols that may reduce treatment time by as much as six months,” Dr. Ricci said. “Immediate implant placement can restore patients with relatively healthy gums and good oral hygiene to improved function and esthetics in as little as one treatment visit, compared to traditional protocols requiring patients to wait up to six months after surgery for their gums to heal and for bone to stabilize the implant.”

When laser-microtextured dental implant restorations were compared with conventional ones, bone loss was reduced to half a millimeter from nearly two millimeters, according to findings from a pilot study by the Italian Group for Implant Research presented at a meeting of the Academy of Osseointegration last year. The gum tissue sealed to the LaserLok™ surface was more stable and less prone to inflammation that leads to deep pocket formation, the researchers said.

Marketed by BioLok International, LaserLok™ is the first FDA-approved implant with a tissue-engineered microtextured surface. Dr. Ricci believes the FDA action may help speed other microtexturing applications to market. “Once you’ve convinced the FDA of your safety and efficacy, it’s easier to get a serious hearing from potential licensing partners,” he said.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Ricci or for more information, please call Christopher James at 212.998.6876 or christopher.james@nyu.edu.

Press Contact

Christopher James
Christopher James
(212) 998-6876