Is this a game changer for dental implants?

SilverPlug by Silveraid. Image courtesy of Silveraid.

After years of testing in Europe, a new dental product that could change the game for dental implants in the U.S. is now available.

SilverPlug bills itself as "the only medical device in the world certified for filling the implant screw tunnel." Designed to take the place of Teflon tape in a dental implant procedure, SilverPlug is drawing attention in the world of oral surgery.

With that in mind, I sat down with Larry Clark, who has a long history in the world of bioactivity in dental materials and products and describes himself as a "materials geek." Clark has become a believer in SilverPlug's ability to assist in the dental implant process, so I asked him five questions about the product and why he saw it as a difference-maker.

Why do dentists need SilverPlug vs. Teflon tape, which is cheaper?

SilverPlug is the only certified class II antimicrobial sealer for dental implants. It has been shown that dental implants have micro-movements, allowing bacteria to infiltrate the internal aspects of the implant. This bacterium is more diverse than bacteria associated with periodontal disease.

The European Journal of Dentistry reported in 2020 peri-implantitis lesions were twice as large and had more blood vessels and infiltrate in the connective tissue compared with periodontitis. Furthermore, peri-implantitis tissue contains extracellular matrix antibodies, making the progression rate faster with more severe loss of bone. Both the clinician placing the implant and the restorative dentist should be aware of these issues.

Teflon tape is a PFAS chemical product, better known as a “forever chemical” and has no antimicrobial effects. It simply protects the screw from the composite being placed. In addition to the micro-movement of implants at the abutment interface, we know that adhesives and composites leak over time, so again, having antimicrobial capabilities is using prevention to everyone’s advantage.

SilverPlug as a class II medical device undergoes thorough testing and quality control. I believe it costs more because it does more.

What makes SilverPlug antimicrobial? 

SilverPlug is a dentin-colored, tapered cone polymer saturated with nano silver zeolite, a natural antimicrobial. The silver is not released into the body.

When biofilm and bacteria that have infiltrated the implant contact the surface of SilverPlug, they die. Thus, bacterial proliferation is limited, mucous membranes no longer appear bloody, and there is no longer a bad smell when removing the abutment.

Does SilverPlug deteriorate over time?

No. In fact, it can be reused when routine maintenance is done, thereby saving time.

Is SilverPlug easy to use?

Yes! Once the screw is seated, using your perio probe, measure the depth of the tunnel, allowing adequate space for your composite. Cut the SilverPlug cone from the bottom to the measure length. Place it into the screw hole, pack it with an instrument, then place your composite according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

For removal, remove the composite as per protocol. Using an explorer or probe, stick it into the exposed surface of the SilverPlug and pull it out. To replace after maintenance, simply replace the cone and push tight to the screw.

Are there studies or clinical reports available regarding SilverPlug?

Absolutely. At the website, there are more than 30 studies regarding the issues of screw hole materials, peri-implantitis, SilverPlug clinical reports, and more. Videos demonstrating use of SilverPlug and German research showing the micro-movement of implants are also accessible.

You can learn more on the topic through my video interview with Clark below.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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