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A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is fused into your jaw to hold a dental crown, bridge, or denture. Dental implants provide a durable foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth substituting for natural teeth. Implants have grown in popularity as technology evolves and baby boomers age.
For instance, dental implants offer several benefits over dentures, including comfort, durability, and convenience because they eliminate the need for dental adhesives. Most importantly, for those that love eating (you know who you are), implants make it easier to eat one’s favorite foods because implants don’t slip and slide like dentures often do.
Since the first implant, titanium has been the metal of choice. Titanium implants are incredibly sturdy and often last a lifetime, but they have been in use long enough now their benefits are showing a few “cracks.”
“Titanium is a metal. Metals conduct heat, they are magnetic, and different metals in the mouth can actually create a galvanic reaction…all of these facts about titanium leads to increased bacteria and plaque attaching to the surface of the implant,” Foley replied in an email interview with Agent Straight-Talk. Acids, salts and bacteria are all contributing to the degradation of the titanium, too, he added.
Michael “Mike” Foley has had an interest in biological dentistry since working as Anthogyr’s North American Agent of distribution and sales in 2006. Anthogyr is a dental equipment manufacturer based in France near Geneva, Switzerland.
Foley said over time Anthogyr moved into dental implants and today they enjoy worldwide popularity for their AXIOM line of implants.
Enter entrepreneur Mike Foley. Foley’s family is from Belgium, but he grew up around Atlanta where he attended the University of Georgia. Throughout school Foley had his eye on working in export management, representing the U.S. and managing sales to other countries, specifically Europe.
His fluency in French led to an opportunity with Anthogyr and their desire to bring their AXIOM implants into the U.S. market. Today Foley still works with the France-based manufacturer, but his role changed in 2014 when Anthogyr chose to focus their production “bite” on Europe and other markets.
Married and back in the U.S. with an infant son at the time, Foley recalls a light clicked on when solely by chance he attended a meeting in Miami with the International Academy of Ceramic Implants (IAOCI).
Foley’s research for Anthogyr showed that the market for titanium implants was leaning towards cheaper production costs and more commercial offerings. Intrigued by the idea of ceramic implants, Foley met with a surgeon named Jens Tartsch the following year in Zurich. Dr. Tartsch introduced Mike to the Zeramex system, a two-piece, screw-retained ceramic implant.