INNOVATION IN DENTISTRY: A STUDY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DENTAL IMPLANTS INDUSTRY
Keywords:Implants. Innovation. Technology diffusion curve.
Numerous professions face similar technological challenges. In the field of dentistry, specifically, replacing missing teeth has always been a formidable obstacle. Considered a technological benchmark for an entire industry, the osseointegrated implant has spawned not only products and manufacturers, but also an entire economic sector, making it a worthy subject of study. In this paper, we trace the technological evolution of the dental implant from its inception to its commercial viability, including the introduction of the titanium-screwed cylindrical implant, a radical innovation. Through this narrative, we conducted a conceptual review on the topic of innovation, taking into account renowned authors in the field, making this a valuable resource for studies on the subject. We also contributed to the study of technological diffusion proposed by Rogers (1995) by presenting quantitative information regarding the adoption of implant technology by dental surgeons in the state of Espirito Santo. We came to the conclusion that, due to the change in the perspective of functional masticatory reconstruction of patients, the implant was a fundamental innovation for the sector, having always evolved in response to osseointegration as the primary technological pursuit. Beyond the findings, the analysis of the percentage of innovation adoption by professionals during the study period is comparable to the technological adherence curve developed by Rogers (1995). Similar percentages of adherence were observed to those defined by the author, with a small initial group followed by a larger group of later adherents. We restricted ourselves to a quantitative survey and did not investigate the factors that led to or prevented adoption of the new technology.
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