Tools of the trade: NobelPearl


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non-metallic implant system

by Dr Ian Hedley, Mosman Dental Surgery, NSW

My practice was getting a lot of patients enquiring about non-metallic implants, specifically zirconia implants. They were mainly concerned about being allergic or sensitive to metals. Other patients wanted to ensure a better aesthetic outcome. NobelPearl is the solution to all their concerns.

What’s good about it

Being made of white zirconia, they achieve a better aesthetic result in certain situations. Titanium implants can shine through grey, particularly in anterior cases. It wasn’t that long ago that everything in dentistry was metal; amalgam fillings, gold crowns, metal bridges. Now everything is ceramic and metal-free, mainly because the aesthetics are so much better. While that shift hasn’t occurred as much with implants, patients are starting to demand it.

I’ve done some postgraduate research and reviewed the available literature and the consensus is that zirconia implants are as good as titanium, if not better. They’re just as strong, just as fracture-resistant and they integrate into the bone better in the long term. While I’m still placing metal implants, I’m increasingly placing more of the zirconia because that’s what patients are requesting.

Everything in the NobelPearl system is zirconia—the implant, the screw and the abutment. The drilling protocols are slightly different but the system is very straightforward and easy to use. Obviously, the NobelPearl kits are designed to be complementary when placing their zirconia implant.

Nobel Biocare were very supportive with the onboarding and education. There’s a learning curve but they came to the practice, set everything up, did demos, and explained everything clearly.

What’s not so good

There’s an initial set-up cost as there is with any kind of implant system. You have to use the NobelPearl kit; there’s no way around it. You simply can’t use any other kind of implant kit.

Where did you get it

Nobel Biocare

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