Not long ago, a dentist called to ask if I could help him with a mysterious case in need of some sleuthing. It involved an elderly patient he was treating. She was nearly 90 years old and had a fixed bridge that was screw retained. So far, so good! Then came the conundrum. Apparently, the implants that had been used were called “
In my over 25 years of experience at Nobel Biocare, I had never heard of
The material provided another helpful clue: The name “Professor Chantal Malevez” was handwritten on the page. Professor Malevez, a renowned clinician and researcher, has been a Nobel Biocare customer since 1987. That was exactly the break I needed!
I went to the dentist’s office immediately to see the case journal and review the evidence. Everything was exactly as he had explained it: five fixtures with what looked like standard abutments in the lower jaw and a fixed screw-retained bridge in gold and acrylic material on top.
As I examined the Biotes document, I was still puzzled. The patient remembered that she received the document from Professor Malevez, who placed the implants in 1988 or 1989, according to her recollection.
Professor Chantal Malevez is a specialist in maxillofacial surgery and known internationally for her groundbreaking work with edentulous patients and implant technologies.
After a quick conversation to explain the case, I received a return call from an engineer who confirmed that
Proud to serve
Nobel Biocare was able to produce the devices needed: a new abutment and abutment screw to replace the originals, which were damaged. Four weeks later the patient’s bridge was repaired without any problem. I was very proud, and here’s the reason why:
After more than a quarter of a century, Nobel Biocare found—in only a few hours—what the customer and the patient needed. That's all part of our commitment to the well-being of your patients.
Mystery solved and the patient happy, I got in touch with Professor Malevez to share the good news. She was
“For me, it is essential to work with a company that can continue to provide components for implants that have been in place for decades,” Professor Malevez said.
I’m especially thankful that she provided her patients with the kind of background documentation that made it possible for us to track down the original product in this case.
The professor made it clear to me that when a clinician chooses an implant product, he or she is also choosing the company that stands behind it. It is the clinician’s responsibility to choose wisely:
“Patients are not always aware of the science behind implants,” she said. In fact, “many of them do not remember which implants have been placed in their mouths.
“If you are a good clinician, and you respect surgical principles, many (different) titanium implants will integrate. Complications start when the components are not perfectly adapted and do not offer what I call ‘industrial precision,’ but then it is too late.”
Professor Malevez and Nobel Biocare became “Partners for Life” long before the phrase became popular, their mutual commitment well-articulated: “to always provide a safe solution for patients with components that are designed to work together.”
A matter of trust
Malevez explains: “I know the industrial precision of Nobel Biocare components, and I know I can trust them.
“Some differences cannot be seen by the human eye,” she said, “but are significant nevertheless. The contact surface between an implant and other components can be destroyed by a bad adjustment, and once the surface is destroyed, you can’t just change the integrated implant.”
Now when a customer asks about mixing and matching products or does not want to offer patients material to be able to trace product history, I tell this story. Our products and solutions are designed for life and I am proud to be able to serve my clinicians throughout the lifetime of their patients.