Where are the high-tech dental implants?

When I was a kid, I had two of my adult teeth surgically removed. As such, I still have two of my baby teeth. And, as I get older, they're starting to wear down.

At every dental check-up my dentist prods them, gives them a wiggle, and sometimes takes an x-ray. "Well," they say, "They're fine for now…"

The "for now" is getting closer with every visit. At my last visit, the dentist started to talk to me about "options". It looks like the best thing is implants. A hole is drilled into my jaw (!) and a titanium screw is implanted (!!) then a crown is screwed into that.

But that's pretty boring! A ceramic crown is inert and - frankly - a little dull. But there doesn't seem to be anything else on the market. Here's what I want to see:

  • NFC
    • I want my teeth to light up every time I bring my phone to my face - just like those cool LED fingernails!
    • Or, perhaps, just let my teeth carry a few bytes of data? Wouldn't it be cool to have my implants carry my private encryption key?!?
  • Materials
    • It looks like my choices are a colour matched ceramic, or a "bling" gold plate. Perhaps with an embossed logo.
    • What about a "Willow Pattern"? Or something which looks like circuit boards? (Probably because no-one wants blue or green teeth!)
  • Piezoelectric materials
    • I'm going to be chewing. That can generate electrical power. Probably not enough to charge my phone - but surely something?
    • Would chewing produce enough electricity to power Ultraviolet LEDs to help kill off bacteria in my mouth?

Isn't this a bit silly?

Yes. It's partly me dealing with the fear of needing someone to drill into my face. It's also the annoyance that I'll be paying several thousand pounds for something without an IP address.

If you're a dentist - or working on novel dental treatments - please reach out to me.

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5 thoughts on “Where are the high-tech dental implants?”

  1. Merton Hale says:

    I live in Belgium. The cost to have implants done here is, as far as i know, about the same as in the UK. Outrageously expensive!

    I have a friend who had several implants done in an eastern european country, very high level of professionalism, at about one tenth the cost.


  2. "let my teeth carry a few bytes of data"

    You need to think carefully about this, in terms of future-proofing.

    After all, if you'd had it done in your youth, you'd now be stuck with something like 4Mb of storage.

    We should refer to this as Moore's Jaw.


  3. OK, this opens up a whole new set of options for when people's remains are 'identified from dental records'.

    "We immediately suspected that this was the body of the victim, but as M. Poirot suggested, we were able to make a positive identification from the PGP signature in one of his molars."


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