A graphic illustration, showing a dental implant with a crown.

Dental Implant Clone Wars

If the ITI’s dental implant is the best, why doesn’t everyone use them? Choosing an implant system for a dental office can be a complicated task. New clinicians, or dentists, who are new to using implants, are often bombarded at a dental trade show.

People are constantly trying to sell them on the so-called latest and greatest innovations in dental implant design. And there is always a sweetheart ‘start up offer’ that if you buy 20 or 30, they give you the surgical kit for free. Of course, they are hoping that you will stay with them and always continue to buy their product once you become familiar with it.

Too Many Options, None of Them Proven

There are currently more than 1000 different dental implant companies worldwide. Dozens of countries have manufacturing capabilities, including Korea and China. Most of these new companies compete for professional market share on one thing: price.

Sadly, to market a dental implant in the United States, the FDA only requires that ‘equivalency’ be shown to an already approved dental implant. Thus, long track records and extensive scientific documentation are not necessary for companies to market to dentists.

Dental trade journals are filled with advertisements of low-cost, and ‘clone’ implants. They are similar in design to the ‘premium’ brand but offered at a much lower cost. Unfortunately, they have no long-term clinical data to show that they are truly equivalent. A dentist who chooses to work with low-cost dental materials might be able to offer cheaper services. However, can they assure their patients that they are getting a well-documented, scientifically, and clinically proven product?

Trusting Your Dental Implant

Most patients don’t know what type of dental implant their doctor uses, and why should they? How could a patient research the best system for their tooth replacement, when even the dentist may be unsure of which one they should use?

Most dentists will not tell their patient that they are using a ‘clone’ or low-cost implant system. And most patients don’t think to ask. One would assume that their dentist would use the best materials available, and not be experimenting with a low-cost alternative.

At Preserve Your Teeth Dentistry we use only one type of implant, the Straumann Tissue Level implant. This original design has over 3000 scientific publications to its credit. The Straumann system has 20 years of follow-up data and has documented evidence that 97% of their implants survive for 10 years.

How could a new or clone implant company make that claim? Quite simply, they can’t. Incidentally, we said that there are 1000 implant companies worldwide, but only one company is number one worldwide: Straumann.

If you are planning on keeping your implant tooth for at least ten years or longer (and who isn’t), wouldn’t you want to have the best and most predictable implant? Even if you could get a cheaper implant, is it really worth it?

By the way, if 97% are successful, what happened to the other 3%. Good question.  Some implants do fail. In our next blog post, find out how an implant can fail, and what can be done about it.


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