Today's Family Dental Care Park Ridge Ask the Dentist question comes from someone that many of you may know and who I am honored to call friend. You can find Gini Dietrich waxing philosophical, sharing marketing and PR strategy at her company's ( Arment Dietrich, Inc.) blog, Spin Sucks, or humbly promoting the book she recently co-authored with Geoff Livingston called Marketing in the Round: How to Develop an Integrated Marketing Campaign in the Digital Era. Where she found the time to ask a dental question I will never know but, inspired by last weeks question on extractions, Gini asked:
"If you have to have a tooth extracted and it's not a molar, what are your options for replacing that tooth? And, with those options, which are the most painful? My hair stylist had implants put in and he said it was super painful. Is he just being a baby ;-) ?"
Last week's post about having a tooth extracted provided the perfect segue for this week's question. There are a couple of options that people have when they have a missing or recently extracted tooth. The options, in general, are basically the same no matter where the missing teeth are located in your mouth, molar or front teeth. Based on the condition of the remaining teeth and bone health, the dentist will go over the different options and the pros and cons of each. In this particular post I would like to focus on the implant option. To say that implants have come a long way is an understatement. I have been doing implants in my office for over 15 years and they just keep getting better and better. So, let's break it down.
- dental implants are a restorative option where a titanium fixture is surgically placed painlessly into the jaw bone in an area where there is no tooth. This implant will replicate the function of the root of a natural tooth and will ultimately support a porcelain crown that will provide esthetics and function
- the surgery to place an implant fixture is painless, quick and fairly straight forward. At the time of surgical placement, the patient is completely numb and the process is exact and remarkably comfortable. As with extractions, you are sometimes given the choice to have "light sedation" (where you are sleeping during the procedure) or local anesthetic (where the area to receive the implant is completely numbed)
- having a dental implant as a "stand alone" restoration allows the neighboring natural teeth to remain unaffected as part of the solution
- a dental implant has no risk of decay and a significantly reduced risk of periodontal disease (gum and bone disease) in the area of the implant
- a dental implant is strong, predictable and and the final restoration (crown) is esthetically beautiful.
- and, most of all, Gini...despite what you heard from your source...implant placement is not painful. And, you know where to find me so I NEED to be telling you the truth ;-)
- dental implants are a wonderful treatment plan option for both front teeth as well as molar teeth. The treating dentist will assess the area in question for the feasibility of implant placement and guide you to make an intelligent decision that is right for you.
As an aside, I never want to minimize the experiences that people have in the pursuit of health care. That said, you will always find those who have had a negative or terrible experience with a procedure. These negative or terrible experiences almost always have an underlying reason that most of us are not privy to. Unfortunately, because of our fear of the unknown, when we hear these occasional negative experiences, they can cloud our judgment and decision making. In my 15 + years of doing implants both as the practitioner and as a professional colleague to many that have done implants, I would say that 95% of the cases are exactly as I described it above...painless, fairly quick and straight forward. The most important ingredient in any treatment plan for your health care is open and constant communication with the practitioner so that you are well informed. Not to overuse this phrase but truly, knowledge is power.
Thank you for your intriguing question, Gini and I hope this alleviates some of your concerns. If you, or anyone else, have questions or concerns regarding implants or any dental related issue, please feel free to email me at info@ParkRidgeDDS.com or comment in the comment section below. Keep those questions coming!
And remember, as always...we LOVE making you smile.