Dental implants modified with drug releasing titania nanotubes: therapeutic potential and developmental challenges
Introduction: The transmucosal nature of dental implants presents a unique therapeutic challenge, requiring not only rapid establishment and subsequent maintenance of osseointegration, but also the formation of resilient soft tissue integration. Key challenges in achieving long-term success are sub-optimal bone integration in compromised bone conditions and impaired trans-mucosal tissue integration in the presence of a persistent oral microbial biofilm. These challenges can be targeted by employing a drug-releasing implant modification such as TiO2 nanotubes (TNTs), engineered on titanium surfaces via electrochemical anodization. Areas covered: This review focuses on applications of TNT-based dental implants towards achieving optimal therapeutic efficacy. Firstly, the functions of TNT implants will be explored in terms of their influence on osseointegration, soft tissue integration and immunomodulation. Secondly, the developmental challenges associated with such implants are reviewed including sterilization, stability and toxicity. Expert opinion: The potential of TNTs is yet to be fully explored in the context of the complex oral environment, including appropriate modulation of alveolar bone healing, immune-inflammatory processes, and soft tissue responses. Besides long-term in vivo assessment under masticatory loading conditions, investigating drug-release profiles in vivo and addressing various technical challenges are required to bridge the gap between research and clinical dentistry.
Expert Opinion on Drug delivery
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Dental Materials and Equipment