(Part III) aaah...What I wouldn't do to chew nuts again!!!

Statistics show that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay.

A lot of people do not replace these missing teeth leading to further dental and joint complications. Some replace them with removable prostheses and hate them. Others get fixed bridges done - which are great but they involve grinding away two adjacent teeth for support.

A dental BRIDGE ( Two teeth have been ground to fix the bridge)

So how are fixed teeth possible?

Dental Implants. They have revolutionized dental treatment.

Well - What are they?

Your natural tooth has a root (which lies hidden in the gum) and a crown which is what you see in the mouth. When you remove a tooth - the entire crown and root is removed, leaving nothing in the bone.

Naturally to fix a tooth we need something to support it on - we can't expect to sit pretty on the gum alone. Feviquick does have it limitations :)

So how do we recreate the tooth root? We place in a titanium insert into the bone. Let it heal and then fix a crown to that insert which acts as a root.

(A dental implant in the bone. On either side you can see untouched natural teeth with their roots. )

Is this a new untested technique? No - its been around for more than 60 years - tried - tested and working successfully.

Is it safe? Absolutely. It is just the reverse of getting a tooth removed. Instead of removing - we are putting in. So if you are healthy enough to get a tooth removed - you are in all probability healthy enough to get it replaced with a dental implant.

Is it not a foreign body being put in? How will my body react? Titanium is a biocompatible material. Moreover when huge titanium implants are being inserted into knees everyday around the world with no issues - how will a tiny little screw 10 mm long cause any trouble?

How many teeth can I replace? As many as you need or want. Right from 1 tooth to 28 teeth can be replaced.

What is the success rate of implants? Depending on bone quality and other factors different articles claim success rates of 90-97%.

What if my implants fail? Nothing. That is the best part. Failed implants don't mean any trouble. They can simply be removed and replaced at a later date. Not many treatments in dentistry are so reversible.

A few more of your questions can be addressed athttp://www.perio.org/consumer/2m.htm

Don't struggle with removable dentures. Don't sit around with missing teeth and big gaps. Don't give up on your favorite foods for the lack of chewing efficiency.

Find a qualified dentist. Ask for dental implants.

Once you are done with the treatment you will kick yourself that you didn't get it done earlier.

Posted by Dr Arya