Implants for everyone
Few aspects of Dentistry have been as successful as osteointegrated titanium implants. In 1985, when this technology came to this country I’m sure there was doubt that over 30 years later studies would show over 90% successful osteointegration. Not only that, the standard of successful implants is more strict now. In previous years, a certain amount of supporting bone loss around the implant was considered okay. That is no longer the standard. Now, no bone loss is expected. Even in locations of the mouth with lower bone density are expected (with proper care) to have over 90% success.
After the surgery and a time of sufficient bone growth for stability, a well-designed restoration can gain as high level of function as natural teeth. Achieving this goal, having a replacement of the tooth root and restoring patients that have very difficult long-term dental malfunction is the delight of dentists and their patients.
In prior eras we assumed smokers were poor candidates, yet now we see a very small sample study that suggests only a 4% reduction in success. (Journal of Periodontics, 2010) 90%: that’s as good as any dental procedure after 5 years.
Conditions like osteoporosis used to also be considered “risky”. Now with a simple blood test to determine bone strength, implants are available. That we could say “Implants for everyone”. Well, maybe not yet, but we’re approaching that and what a beautiful place to be.
Implants are also becoming a patient driven procedure: many patients already have had a good experience for themselves or know someone else recommending them.
Tooth loss prevention will always be primary to my practice. Finding bacterial sources and improving overall general health through Dental education and Dental Home Care is the best way to achieve success of preserving natural teeth. And when that is not possible dental implants are the next best thing.
God Bless and stay healthy.
By Dr. Robert Carlisi