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When Should Dental Implants Be Considered?

This is an example of a complete upper dental implant patient: This patient hates going to the dentist and only sees a dentist for emergency treatment. He is very anxious and will only accept treatment under sedation. This patient has a history of ongoing dental problems, such as untreated tooth decay, gum disease, and missing
teeth. He presented with multiple missing front teeth that negatively affected his smile and his public presentation; had several infected abscessed teeth that required root canal and crown treatments to be saved; and had gum infections that would require many appointments to treat. He would require sedation and Novocain to get through these appointments.

These conventional dental treatment options could salvage the teeth, but they would require many treatment
appointments, with sedation and local anesthetic injections. For conventional treatment to be successful long term for people like this they must commit to regular maintenance care; cleanings, scaling and root planing, fluoride treatments in the dentist’s office every 3-4 months for the rest of his life. Patients like this are
termed Periodontal Patients, because they require regular periodontal maintenance care the rest or their lives, otherwise they face increased risk of tooth loss. An alternative treatment plan was to remove natural teeth and replace them with dental implants. This option would require a surgery appointment with sedation and Novocaine similar to the conventional option, but only one treatment appointment would be required. Upon reviewing both of these treatment plan options the cost for each option was almost the same. After reviewing the plans the plan using dental implants was chosen. The reason for choosing this option was based on the fact that conventional treatment would require more appointments where sedation and Novocaine would have to be used.

The implant treatment option was seen as less painful and difficult because all the painful surgery would be
done in one appointment under comfortable sedation and the follow up appointments would not require any local anesthetic injections or painful treatment. Lastly, the cost for both options was going to be close to identical. From the perspective of the anxious patient the implant option was the best choice. It is not unusual for patients faced with this kind of prognosis to attempt to change and become compliant dental patients. Unfortunately many of these people discover the difficulty of staying compliant with long term maintenance plans and drop out of the program. For many people like this, dental implants are the best long term treatment option for several reasons. Dental implants don’t decay and gum disease seen around natural teeth is not the same around dental implants. Dental implants can also stimulate jaw bone to grow up and strengthen around the implant, something never seen around natural teeth, and because dental implants are made of titanium they are stronger than natural teeth. The cosmetic results using implants can be excellent when everything is done properly resulting in a beautiful smile.