WHAT IS IMPLANT DENTISTRY?

Dental Implants in North Carolina

In 1917 a general dentist by the name of Bob Greenfield from Wichita Kansas obtained the first patent for a tooth replacement system in the USA. Between that time and the mid-1980s dentists who placed implants were considered to be practicing with a very unpredictable mode of therapy, and the majority of these specialty dentistry programs did not sanction the use of dental implants.

The tide turned when a physician from Sweden studying bone repair happened to notice that the bone cells liked to grow around titanium. For twenty years they researched their population and came up with protocols for what they called “osseointegration.” These findings were presented at a North American Conference and the companies started to sell the system to hospitals as most of their protocols were hospital driven. The hospitals used the protocols and started to train oral surgeons to place dental implants, and periodontists (treat diseases of the gum and associated support tissues) and Prosthodontists (replacement specialists for missing facial structures)’ started incorporating implant training into their dental programs.”A US dentist by the name of Gerald Niznick decided to patent his own system of titanium implants and started to sell them to and train general dentists in implant dentistry. In recent times Endodontists (root canal specialists), and Orthodontists ( braces and other devices to straighten teeth) have started adopting implant placement into their general protocols.

There are certain advantages for a patient who needs dental implant therapy as well as cosmetic rehabilitation, root canal, and bridges as well as dentures in going to an office that can provide all those services during the same appointment when it is feasible. In our North Carolina implant dentistry office we “start with the end in mind.” We design the anticipated smile results and instead of just giving a patient some implants, we place the implants in the best position to facilitate the end result. We have a great relationship with our dental specialists and often utilize them when we have advanced periodontal disease or if a patient has lost so much bone that they require procedures like a “hip graft.” The American Dental Association has voted against having “Implantology” as a specialty, but it is agreed that placement of dental implants requires specialized training.

As the general population becomes more educated about the benefits of having dental implants, the demand will exceed the dental community’s ability to fill that need. People realize that loss of teeth will eventually lead to loss of bone in the jaw that not only affects the looks of a patient but severely limits their ability to process nutritional food. To help offset the problem our implant dentistry office is not only dedicated to providing dental implants to patients but we are also dedicated to helping educate our colleagues in implant dentistry. We continually update our education with staying current with the literature as well as staying abreast by maintaining our credentials with the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

Ten Reasons for Considering Dental Implants

For many people who have lost teeth, dental implants may be the perfect option for not only improving their appearance but actually adding years to their life. Unfortunately, there is a large population that never considers dental implants because they feel the procedure may be too costly, painful, or time-consuming. For these people, we’ve assembled the following list to explain the benefits of today’s dental implants and the consequences of ignoring them. Please take a few minutes to review the following list and consider if a dental implant procedure would work for you.

  • The implant consists of a titanium alloy that is biocompatible to bone and encourages the bone to form around it holding it in place. The healing process is referred to as osteointegration.
  • Once the implant becomes osteointegrated it helps to preserve alveolar bone. Approximately 60% of the bone in your jaws grew in response to the erupting teeth. When a tooth is extracted you go through a process of losing bone in that area that can last a lifetime. An implant helps to preserve this bone structure.
  • It helps to prevent malocclusion. When you lose a back tooth you set up shifting in the other teeth. Teeth adjacent tend to move into space and the teeth opposing drift up or down into the newly formed space. Some spaces become “food traps” and contribute to bad breath and periodontal disease.
  • Dental implants can slow facial atrophy. Roughly 150 Newtons of force is applied on normally functioning back teeth while only 50 Newtons are applied on the front teeth. Non-pathological forces on the back teeth contribute to the preservation of facial muscle tone, hence our “looks.
  • Digestion is vastly improved with properly functioning teeth because the ability to crush food is enhanced.
  • People without teeth spend approximately 17% more on drugs. The Mayo Clinic studies also show that having teeth added approximately 10 years to your life expectancy.
  • There is an increased risk of the aspiration of food if you have no teeth. Aspiration of food is one of the causes of death in the elderly that hardly gets mentioned except in CPR courses.
  • Save money on denture adhesives. In America, about $148million is spent on denture adhesives every year.
  • Complete lower dentures usually move about 10-12mm during function and contribute to diet modifications that are less than nutritious. Many denture wearers develop anti-social tendencies because they are unwilling to go out for a meal.
  • A dental implant with abutment and crown costs about the same as a three-unit bridge replacing a single tooth. A Cat Scan guided program allows us to do the virtual surgery on the computer with you present so we can help you decide if you are a good candidate for this treatment.

Dental implants come in many different forms. There are subperiosteal implants, ramus frames, blades, and root form implants. The subperiosteal implant is mostly used for areas where the bone is not of sufficient height to accommodate root form implants and is mostly used in shrunken lower jaws. The ramus frame and blade implants are mostly used in the lower back jaw when the patient is not an ideal candidate for advanced bone grafting techniques. The most common type of implants used most of the time are root-form implants that mimic the root of the tooth. The reasons we’ve listed for considering dental implants apply primarily to the root form implant.

Contact our office today to learn more about dental implants and find out if they are right for you or a loved one.