The world of dental implants seems to be changing. Commoditization (is this a word? It seems it may be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commoditization seems to be the natural process for this market. But wait. Some of the technologies emerging are fantastic. Spellbinding even when you consider the Hollywood appeal of 3D printing, and that's before we get into the less glamorous world of e max restorations and other clever solutions. Where will this lead to? The implant systems appear to be merging in their predictability of results, which in turn is seeing the market change drastically.
No longer is it dominated by the few, but we are now seeing plucky young challengers come to the fore. Is this a good thing or bad thing? For me, history shows that competition drives innovation up and prices down. Long term this is surely a good thing? Will the patients benefit? I would say yes, as these innovations are often designed to improve predictability and aesthetic outcomes. Will the dentist benefit? Tricky one. Some will in my eyes benefit very well financially, will definitely benefit clinically, and should be able to build strong practice models from the advancements in the science. What of the not so fortunate few?
Dental implants are becoming a generic procedure. Patients expect. The momentum is moving towards what is put on top of them. Aesthetic results. Evolution of plastics. Growing ability to produce digital results from the explosion of CT scanners in practice, through to intraoral scanning, laboratory scanning, milling machines,3D printing, and CAD/CAM design and production. The surgical phase of the whole process is becoming the NORM. Restorative is where it is at.
This brings me back to the start. Why do we need to work with one companies prosthetic solutions, when there are many out there with clever innovations that can help improve on outcomes? The dental laboratories are tooling up for this revolution. There are companies ready to step in and provide solutions for you as a dentist, you as a patient, and you as a laboratory technician.
Vive la revolution!