Friday, June 14, 2013

Dental Implants 101

A simple tour through the treatment of choice with expert Dr. Misch-Dietsh.

    MIAMI BEACH, FL, June 14, 2013 /Dental PR News/ -- In the US alone 70 % of the population are missing at least one tooth.

There are different treatment options, yet the treatment of choice today are dental implants. While there are many advantages to this option, many people are unsure of what is involved, what they should expect and if they are a good candidate.

Prosthodontist and clinical professor of Oral Implantology at Temple University Dr. Misch-Dietsh sheds light into this process and helps simplify the steps involved.

"Dental implants are a man made replacement for the natural tooth root.

The implant is inserted into the bone and allows a person to return to non removable teeth."

Misch-Dietsh, who has worked as a Prostodontist for 24 years, explains that the material used is Titanium, which is bio compatible and is traditionally used for various implants in the body. It has been safely used since the 1960s due to its reliable reaction with the body.

The first step in considering dental implants is a thorough evaluation, which includes the patient's medical history and dental examination complete with X-rays ect. Only THEN the treatment is decided with pros and cons of different strategies. "A very strong evaluation before starting treatment is essential and consists of a full intro and extra oral exam and evaluation of the patients needs and desires." Misch-Dietsh explains that her office uses the Cone beam computerized imaging program to get the most detailed view. "This is basically the Rolls Royce of imaging. Here we look for possible bone atrophy to make sure we have enough bone volume and quality to ensure adequate support."

Some of the relative factors in deciding if a patient is a good candidate are age, state of the gums and bone structure, as well as the overall health of the patient. "For example I just finished working with a lovely 89 year old lady with great success, so age is not a critical factor."

In fact, many elderly people choose dental implants to improve quality of life, not just esthetics. Dr. Misch explains that tooth loss can often impede speech, the ability to chew and causes many self esteem issues.

Osteoporosis is another relative contra indication. Significant bone loss might require an additional step before the implants can be inserted. In this case Bone grafting is used to rebuild a more favorable structure.

Smoking has been recognized as a major obstacle for dental implants, causing inflammation in the mouth and periodontal disease. However, if the person quits, these effects are fully reversibly and after a short waiting period we can proceed with the procedure.

"One critical factor to maintaining dental implants is proper care," explains Dr. Misch-Ditsh.

Many people think that because the implant itself is not affected by bacteria they can loosen dental hygiene. As she points out, quite the opposite is the case. "The soft tissue (gums) around the implant are not as resistant, and less able to fight bacteria. There is a need for a serious regiment! When you brush, you disturb the plaque and it can't stick. Here it helps to have the proper tools such as an electric or ultra sonic toothbrush, small brushes for the spaces and of course dental floss."

She explains that around the implant the tissue is very weak, because there are not as many fibers as in a natural tooth structure. If you don' t give it the right defense, you open the road for infection to go to the bone and further propel bone loss.

So what makes for a good implant?

According to Dr. Misch-Ditsh at the heart of it is sound engineering. She explains that Prosthodontics uses many of the principles of mechanical engineering and is in fact Bio mechanical engineering. "For example if there are not enough beams, the construction will not hold and that is the same principle for dental implants. We treat patients to provide a predictable, long-term satisfactory result that will enhance their quality of life. It is key not to present them with an under engineered plan, just because it is cheaper and faster. What is needed is a treatment that is predictable long-term, not a quick fix."

Dr. Misch-Dietsh, who is also an associate editor of the official publication of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists Implant Dentistry, feels that in order to provide the most adequate care one needs to stay current with the most updated technology and developments. "You find a lot of borderline and not predictable treatment plans out there, and its important to base treatment on sound principles."

Many patients considering the pros and cons are trying to evaluate if this type of treatment would fit their needs and budget. Of course the apparent disadvantage is the high cost and the time needed. However, from the moment you are going to loose a tooth or have lost several teeth, the road leads down hill, and the only way to intervene are dental implants.

Only implants will maintain the bone and enhance the long-term survival of the neighboring teeth. What many patients fail to consider is that once a tooth has been lost, the bone starts deteriorating and the neighboring teeth are in danger of being lost as well. Dr. Misch-Dietsh points out that if you look at it short term, cost is high, but after a certain number of years it will be the more cost effective choice, because it will ensure the health of the neighboring teeth that would otherwise require treatment.

According to Dr. Misch-Dietsh' s experience little can offset the superior feeling of having what feels like one' s own teeth. With this comes the ease of chewing function, speech, health and maintenance of the bone and of course the confidence of a beautiful smile. "I don't have one patient who had the treatment and regretted it. It is a long term investment that has become the treatment of choice!"

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