Achieve Success with Dental Implants

By Jon Julian, D.D.S.

Success with implants is enhanced by the dentist’s experience, along with his confidence in himself and his chosen implant system.

Over the years, I have placed many dental implants in patients using several different systems. This experience has sharpened my judgment about the best way to achieve success with all kinds of implants. But, a dentist should look for at least two keys that signal a superior implant system:

  • A simple and direct means for the doctor to place and restore the implant.
  • A way to preserve the maximum amount of bone and soft tissue to support the implant.

Looking for these two features will ensure a long-lasting, functional, and aesthetic outcome.

Recently, I spoke to my good friend and associate, Dr. David Little of San Antonio, Texas, about placing implants. Dr. Little is a cosmetic dentist who found himself restoring implants originally placed by surgeons.

He said, “My implant practice was good and growing. I had a very workable and rewarding referral relationship with area surgeons. For the most part, I felt I’d do best sticking to cosmetic restoration of implants within my traditional fixed prosthetics practice.”

I have seen hundreds of highly qualified general dentists like Dr. Little learn to place as well as restore implants. I asked him how he felt about the challenge he has recently met of surgically placing the implants as well as restoring them.

He said he was leery at first, but soon his confidence grew. “I’ve been very hands-on in treatment planning and have sat in on many surgeries. I added to my experience by obtaining proper training in surgical placement of the implants. I’m now involved in placing implants in selected cases, where surgical placement offered the control I wanted,” he said.

Learning how to place implants gives dentists exactly that—control. Control of the position of the implant, of the implant system, and of patient communication, scheduling, finances, and follow-up care is essential for a successful implant outcome. Despite the promise of more control many dentists find placing implants intimidating. Because Dr. Little seems so confident, I asked him candidly what gave him the confidence to elevate himself from a “restore only” doctor to a doctor that chooses to surgically place implants.

He said, “I had good experiences restoring with other systems, but, I didn’t feel comfortable enough with their surgical protocol to start placing my own implants. When I discovered a new system, ANKYLOS from Dentsply Friadent, it gave me the extra confidence I needed to consider placing. It cut down the maze of components and varying prosthetic platforms related to surgery.”

This is the same response I’ve heard from dentists across the country. In fact, after an educational trip to Germany to see where ANKYLOS originated, I saw the data from thousands of case histories and doctors testimonials that confirmed years of success with the ANKYLOS system.


The ANKYLOS implant is designed to be placed 1 to 2 mm below the crest of bone. The 2.5mm diameter conical connection is designed to be centered in the implant allowing a shoulder effect – keeping the abutment away from the sides of the implant body. This same conical connection is engineered so precisely that it is bacteria proof. This means that the implant produces no odor and no debris can collect in the interior compartment.

The union between the abutment and implant is also extremely strong, allowing smaller diameter implants to support full size crowns. The threads are also more prominent in the apical 1/3 and less prominent at the cervical collar. This engages the resilient medullary bone for support instead of the delicate cortical plate at the cervical junction, preventing a cratering effect of the ANKYLOS implant. The bottom line is that this implant preserves more bone and tissue and eliminates bacterial influences “the micro gap effect.”

Dr. Little said he liked ANKYLOS because “they have a great physiological basis for their design.”

Because of this outstanding design, dentists get great aesthetic results. With ANKYLOS all the implants, regardless of size, use the same abutments. A 3.5mm diameter implant and a 5.5mm diameter implant use the same 2.5mm diameter abutment. A dentist can vary the height of the abutment to suit your needs and impressions quite easily. By placing an impression coping, a closed or open tray impression can be done as easy as any crown and bridge procedure. You can also place a final abutment and take an impression of the abutment in place. Either way, the laboratory can manufacture great fitting, looking, and functioning crowns dentists can easily insert.

The possibilities are endless with this system: crowns, bridges, bar supported dentures, as well as the innovative SynCone system for supporting dentures. With the SynCone abutment, dentists can place restorations immediately. SynCone gives dentists the ability to simply rotate the abutment 360 degrees in the conical connection to the ideal draw for a removable prosthesis! Thus ANKYLOS is a versatile system that ensures success while simplifying the clinical procedure.

Dr. Little and others like him have discovered something very important to all dentists. Whether we choose to only restore implants and refer the surgical placement or do the surgery as well, one thing is clear: we all must understand the system we use to get the best possible outcome.

Technology advances are not slowing down, and the dental profession is advancing rapidly on many fronts. Implants are just one of these fronts, but they are gaining ground rapidly! Greater numbers of dentists are getting educated in implantology each year with stimulating effects to their practices. I hope all dentists decide to join this trend soon. ■

Dr. Jon Julian graduated from the University of Kansas City Dental School in 1978, and maintains a practice in McPherson, Kansas, is a member of the Dr. Dick Barnes Group, and is the instructor for Implant EZ seminars.