Dental implants are frequently used to support fixed or removable dental prostheses to replace missing teeth. The clinical success of titanium dental implants is owed to the exceptional biocompatibility and osseointegration with the bone. Therefore, the enhanced therapeutic effectiveness of dental implants had always been preferred. Several concepts for implant coating and local drug delivery had been developed during the last decades. A drug is generally released by diffusion-controlled, solvent-controlled, and chemical controlled methods. Although a range of surface modifications and coatings (antimicrobial, bioactive, therapeutic drugs) have been explored for dental implants, it is still a long way from designing sophisticated therapeutic implant surfaces to achieve the specific needs of dental patients. The present article reviews various interdisciplinary aspects of surface coatings on dental implants from the perspectives of biomaterials, coatings, drug release, and related therapeutic effects. Additionally, the various types of implant coatings, localized drug release from coatings, and how released agents influence the bone–implant surface interface characteristics are discussed. This paper also highlights several strategies for local drug delivery and their limitations in dental implant coatings as some of these concepts are yet to be applied in clinical settings due to the specific requirements of individual patients.
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