Why are dental implants a suggested treatment by so many dentists today?

Over the past 30 years implants have become extremely popular. This is because they are not only versatile, they are very strong and long lasting in most patients.

Usually a dental implant is up for consideration when a tooth breaks  or becomes painful. Although root canals are still a viable option in many cases, a lot of times the eventual restoration of some root canal teeth becomes “heroic.”

In this instance, a dental implant would be recommended. In comparison, a dental implant is stronger than a weakened, more brittle root canal treated tooth. The implant is also not subject to further tooth decay.

Just like natural teeth, the implant can be affected by untreated gum disease. That is why simple home care and routine visits to the dentist are still necessary following any implant placement. If affected by gum disease, just like teeth, the implant can fail.

Another instance where dental implants can fail is if the bite force is not controlled and places undue stress on the implant.

I heard a story by a prominent restorative dentist of a patient who had a molar implant placed. The patient called about four years later saying the implant was loose. Usually when a dentist hears this, they are thinking the screw is loosened which can be tightened.

In this particular case the X-ray showed the patient had broken the implant itself in half! The story demonstrates the potential destructive power of the bite force in a human being. A dental implant is made of titanium and is extremely strong.

If all the teeth are missing, dental implants are the only way to add back security and holding power to whatever tooth replacement solution has been selected. Existing dentures can be retro-fitted with the housings needed to attach to certain dental implants.

Even if there is little bone remaining, mini-dental implants can be used due to their small size. The added benefits of mini-dental implants is that there is less invasive surgery involved and the dentures can be attached immediately.

Due to their versatile applications, dental implants are readily available. All you have to do is contact a dentist and have recommendations made that can help you decide what is right for you. The good news is, whatever the dental problem, there is almost always an implant solution.

James G. Jenkins, D.M.D. is the owner of Bluffton Dental Care in Bluffton.