Scientists Develop Ultra Low-cost Dental Implant

New Delhi, Dec 5: Scientists in India have developed an innovative, low-cost dental implant that promises to make tooth replacements and restorations affordable to millions of people.

The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, have developed the implant under the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative [NMITLI] scheme of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

According to the research team, tests on the implant have shown that it performs better than the best of implants currently imported and can be produced at a fifth of their cost.

Describing it as an exemplary example of the Government's drive to promote `Make in India’, Naresh Bhatnagar, Project Coordinator and Associate Dean [Research and Development], IIT, Delhi,  said the implant was likely to cost about Rs. 3,000 per piece at the most, against Rs. 18,000 to Rs. 20,000 for an imported one.

Dental implants are surgically inserted as a support or mount for prosthetics such as crowns or dentures, anchoring them to the bone. Properties such as stress generation and the ability to absorb biomechanical pressures are important in determining effectiveness of the implant.

The researchers say the new implant is designed to minimise stress and has advanced features to reduce costs and make the replacement of a single or multiple tooth easy. The device is undergoing tests at multiple centres and currently has a 100% success record.

According to Dr Bhatnagar, dental implantations are proportionately low in India, owing largely to the prohibitive costs for the procedure. We have only two to three lakh dental implantations taking place every year, in comparison with say a country such as Korea, which has a much lower population but a similar number of surgical procedures annually. “It is clear that many people are not going for dental implants in India though they may need it, perhaps because of the high costs,” Dr. Bhatnagar said.

The innovation is one of the attractions at the Mega Science & Technology and Industrial Expo currently underway at IIT Delhi as part of the five-day India International Science Festival. The Expo is open to the public from 10.30 am to 6 pm until December 8.

IISF 2015 is being organised by the Ministries of Science and Technology  and Earth Sciences in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati, the largest science movement in the country, with the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) as the nodal agency. 

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