© Institute of Stomatology, Riga Stradins University


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Dental Implantation in Latvia and at the Institute of Stomatology

The first attempts at dental implant tooth replacements in Latvia date back to 1986. Oļegs Rozens and Tamāra Kermane in cooperation with prosthetist Larisa Gorjunova placed Linkov's laminar implants that were mechanically attached to patient's jaw with early prosthetics and without waiting for the osseointegration. Around 120 implants were placed at the joint outpatient clinic of the republic. Since mid-1990s this implant system has been replaced by screw-type implants- first "Kontrast" implant system from Saint Petersburg was used, followed by "Semados" implant system from BEGO (Bremen). In 1990s, within the framework of free of charge clinical research managed by Kari Luotio, developer of "Osfix/Biosfix" implant system (Finland), a total of 50 "Osfix/Biosfix" implants were placed for patients.

To a great extent the beginnings and further development of contemporary osseointegrated dental implantology took place thanks to Professor Pēteris Apse. Professor worked at the Clinic of Prosthetic Dentistry of the University of Toronto and directly witnessed and participated in the development of this technology from the begginnings. He carried out scientific researches on the significance of soft tissue around dental implant for longterm functioning of dental implants and defended his doctoral dissertation that was recognised as equivalent to Dr.habil.med. after returning to Latvia.

In 1991, for the first time in Latvia, Branemark system implants- the best implant solutions of that time- were placed for two patients. Two implants for each patient were placed in the centre of the mandible bone with an aim to stabilise the removable prosthesis. Operations were performed by George Sandor, who worked in Toronto that time. Currently he is a professor at the University of Oulu in Finland. Pēteris Apse was the one to organise this process, including the provision of free of charge implants and operation.

Several colleagues have developed their doctoral theses on the basis of the Institute of Stomatology and obtained the degree of medical doctor and paved the path for further academic development. The following doctoral dissertations were defended: Guntis Žīgurs "The Experience in the Application of Implants in Prosthetic Dentistry". Linards Grieznis "Tactile Sensitivity of Loaded Teeth and Osseointegrated Implants", Ģirts Šalms "Integration of Biomaterials Used for Bone Tissue Replacement into the Back Part of Atrophic Maxilla", Laura Neimane "Morphological Assessment of the Alveolar Bone of the Maxilla in Prosthetics Patients".

For the past 20 years the volume of the application of implants has rapidly increased in the context of contemporary dentistry at the Institute of Stomatology in cooperation with Clinics of Prosthodontics, Surgery and Orthodontics. For the past years, the number of patients with insufficient alveolar bone volume or quality has increased. For these patients, effective, long-term and stabile functioning of implants is possible solely by bone augmentation. Therefore, bone transplantation and the application of biomaterials for bone replacement have rapidly become very popular. These pre-prosthetic surgical methods provide patients with the opportunity to have teeth in such clinical situations that were before recognised as hopeless. Besides, patient bone diagnostics has improved significantly thanks to up-to-date "Cone beam" tomograph.

Within the past ten years of the past century the number of dental implants placed at the Institute of Stomatology reaches 500 units per year. Currently the number has trippled, and in 2013, 1643 implants from 8 different dental implant manufacturers were placed.