Dealing with un-identified Dental Implant Components?

digital dental implant registry

This article is sponsored content brought to you by Dental Implant Registry.

As the dental implant market grows and more patients receive dental implant treatment, many dentists at some point have will have to deal with identifying implant components that they did not install themselves.

When a new or returning patient presents with an unknown implant, either for review or worse, treatment associated with an implant complication, identification of the implant is vital to ensure safe treatment. Moreover, accessing records on the same day of treatment (in an emergency) can be near impossible.

This information may be accessed from the previous dental practice several days or weeks later, but this may delay treatment. In communicating with patients who have requested that their implant and restorative information is registered on the Dental Implant Registry (DIR), our team has noticed the following trends:

1. The patient’s former practice has not kept accurate records

2. Practice no longer has access to these records for identification (records archived/destroyed)

3. Practice has closed due to the retirement of their principal dentist

In an attempt to identify unknown implants, dentists have attempted to not only contact the former practice, but also dental implant sales representatives, companies or even trusted lab technicians. The DIR has had numerous conversations with dentists about this topic and the ingenuity of dentists (in trying to help their patients) is commendable. Taking photographs with SLR cameras or taking impressions of the fitting surface of the implants is a common theme. The last resort is to try and match a radiograph against hundreds of implant possibilities online, however, if a compatible restorative component was used the identification of the implant may not be useful given variation in occlusal screw designs.

When a prosthesis requires replacement (on an unknown implant), if a compatible or alternative component with poor fit was utilised, some literature has indicated that in the long term the implant can develop biologic (peri-implantitis) and technical/mechanical (screw fracture loosening or even implant fracture) complications.

The way forwards is the registration of dental implant components onto a database, and this where the DIR can help.

The DIR is the world’s first digital dental implant registry, that provides real-time access to patient data for patients and dental professionals (privacy policies apply).

Benefits of the DIR:

  • Allows dentists to accurately record patient data for their lifetime (longevity of data)
  • Provide Patients with the best long-term care
  • Meet current TGA regulatory requirements
  • Allows for quick and easy flow of communication between Dental Practices when patients move to a new dentist
  • FREE marketing via the Find a DIR Dentist search function (we actively direct Patients to DIR Registered Practices)
  • Get Paid for Data Entry (patients pay for registrations and there are no fees for dental professionals)

How does the DIR work?

  • Once your Practice is registered on the DIR, you are able to start registering your Patients implant components
  • Registrations take between 2-5 minutes, and can be done at the time of surgery/restorative installation (or laboratory)
  • Registrations are normally entered by staff, meaning no additional work for Dentists/Specialists
  • Once the registration is complete, a PDF is created and can be saved into the Patient file (avoiding double entry)  

For more information, please contact the DIR at

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