The ground breaking use of Intraoral Welding to improve the placement of dental implants has been successfully performed for the first time in the UK, by Dr Peter Sanders of Dental Confidence in Southampton.

Following intensive training in 2012 with Dr Marco Degidi in Bolgna, Italy, Dr Sanders is now the first dentist in the UK to practise the advanced technique that enables the immediate loading of a fixed prosthesis supported by an intraorally welded titanium framework.

After 3D CAD CAM planning and guided surgery, the abutments of Dr Sanders' first case were connected to the implants and a titanium bar was welded to the abutments whist in the patient's mouth. This framework was then used to support the prosthesis, which was fitted on the same day.

Dr Sanders comments, "The biggest challenge in precision dentistry is transferring accurate information from the mouth to the model. Creating impressions, models and castings will inevitably lead to the possibility of inaccuracies. If inaccuracies exist, the framework has to be recast and therefore this process can often be long winded. With Intraoral Welding, the framework is welded to the components in the patient's mouth, and is therefore completely accurate from the outset. As a result a more passive, stress free structure is created."

So far only a handful of dental implantologists in the world have received the specialist training that allows them to practice the Intraoral Welding technique. The welding technique itself is achieved when the titanium materials are joined together through pressure and the heat produced by electrical current.

The previous challenge for the developers of the technology was to safely get the pressure and current perfectly accurate. Now this has been achieved, it is predicted that more and more implantologists will eventually adopt the technique.

"Using the welding technique means there is no waiting time for the laboratory to cast a framework," Dr Sanders continues, "Instead I am able to create a framework instantly, and therefore the cost for implant loaded bridges and dentures is significantly reduced."

If the framework is completely passive, complications such as failures in the screws, superstructure or actual implant are entirely avoided and so the consequences of stress are eliminated.

The first patient to receive the treatment last week was Dave Dougan, from Portsmouth who said, "The treatment has been fantastic. I am more than happy with the results. The surgery was entirely pain free and the implants are perfectly comfortable. I was able to have full extraction and implant placement in a single day, and I must say I was astonished at how quickly I could get on with things- I was eating food the following day."

Dr Sanders concludes, "Intra oral welding shortens treatment time, increases precision and consequently improves the overall success rate of implant placement. We are delighted to be the first implant centre in the UK to offer patients the benefits of this ground breaking technique."