In many ways you can compare dental implants to automobiles. Like automobiles, there are hundreds of different types of dental implants and implant companies in the world. Each implant company has their own parts and pieces, and just like you can’t place Ford automobile parts in a Chevrolet, you also shouldn’t mix and match implant parts and pieces. Authentic dental implant components are crucial to the function, health, and warranty of your dental implant. With today’s technology there are many 3rd party companies producing “compatible” parts and pieces at a cheaper cost for implants they don’t manufacture. Some are legally made and sold, and many are not.
Dr. Howell co-created and operates a free online resource that helps dentists and patients all over the world identify their implants. You can visit this resource at whatimplantisthat.com. Thousands of people each day visit this website looking for help to identify a mystery implant. There they can search through hundreds of xrays from the dental implant library and sort through them by process of elimination.
Every dental implant has its own unique shape, taper, threads, and appearance in an xray. Once that implant is placed in a patient’s mouth, there is no way of knowing what brand and type it is without information from the doctor who placed it, or simply by sight recognition. Without knowing what brand and type the implant is, it is not possible to purchase the correct parts and pieces from the correct manufacturer to service that implant for the patient. Whatimplantisthat.com provides xray images of hundreds of implants from all over the world at no cost to the user. By narrowing the search down by process of elimination based on the characteristics of the implant in question, a correct identification can be made.
Dr. Howell is also the co-creator of the worlds first dental implant identification mobile APP based off the online implant database. It can be downloaded in iTunes or Google for iOS or Android respectively.