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Are Dental Implants Always The Answer?



What a strange question coming from someone who does dental implants for a living.  In the past, dentistry had denture mills.  What were the denture mills?  They were large offices where people could go to have their teeth removed and dentures made all in the same day.  Some denture practices such as that still exist today.  They are a necessary adjunct for those people who have no options to save their teeth. 


We have many patients who come into our office every year stating that they want all their teeth out.  And I can’t tell you how many times we come up with solutions that are more comfortable and less costly than the full extraction route.


Fast forward to today.  Now there are dental implant centers that do only one thing----take your teeth out and put in implant supported teeth.  They are the new denture mills.  The ads look nice, and frankly, that service is a great service for someone who needs it.  I provide this service as well, and the patients who do need it are very happy.


But if you go to a denture mill, you are likely to be given one choice---dentures.  And when you go to a dental implant center, you are also likely to get only one choice---dental implants.  And that’s a shame.  Because if your teeth can be predictably saved, that is often a better and more predictable long term option than dental implants.  And as good as the advertising is, dental implants have problems, too.  They have to be maintained and cleaned just like teeth need to be cleaned.  And dental implants can fail as well.


What is the patient who is frustrated by his or her teeth to do?  It is finding a dentist you can talk to, that can assess all of your needs, and that can give you the pros and cons of every option.  A periodontist will give you that assessment.  Then you have a clear choice of what can be done.


So from one who is known for dental implants, don’t assume that dental implants are the only answer.  Find a good periodontist, look at all the options, and then come to the conclusion that is right for you.  

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