Sunday, 23 November 2008

When to Admit the Need For Dental Implants

Sometimes there are cases wherein a patient loses several teeth due to severe deterioration of the health of the teeth or due to a major accident which could have caused injury in his teeth. In cases like these, patients can opt for implant-supported bridges in order to replace several missing teeth. This works by allowing the dental implants to replace the missing tooth roots. Patients will find that implant-supported bridge method will give them more natural-looking and more natural-feeling teeth. In addition to this, implant-supported bridges will preserve the bone by integrating the implants with the jawbone, hence, making it more intact and healthy.

When a patient is missing only one tooth, the single tooth replacement method may be used to replace the missing tooth using one implant and one crown. As the implant replaces the root and as the attached crown replaces the visible tooth, the patient will notice that dental implant looks and feels more natural. Also, in the single tooth replacement method, the neighboring teeth are untouched, therefore, minimizing future complications. Other treatments typically used in replacing a missing single tooth include a tooth-supported fixed bridge which lets the adjacent teeth support the cemented bridge. All in all, dental implants will help your jawbone become stronger as they keep the bone more intact.

Dental implant surgery has always been one of the most widely performed dental surgeries in the world. The price of dental implants differs from one country to another. For example, in the United States, dental implants normally cost around $2,500, and around $12,000 per arch for full mouth reconstructions. As a matter of fact, dental implants can even cost you a whopping $50,000 depending on the gravity or complexity of the patient’s case. Dental implants cost between £2000-£2800 in the United Kingdom and around 5,000 NIS in Israel for single implants. Single implants cost around 250-350$ in Iraq and around 700-800$ in Turkey and Egypt.

The history of dental implants traces back to the Mayan people who had shells inserted in the sockets of their missing teeth and the Egyptian mummies which were discovered to have gold wire implants in their jawbones. Dating for almost thousands of years, these mummies testify to the fact that the concept of dental implants were already in existence even before its popularity in the 80’s. There is an exhibit which showcases pre-Columbian skeletal remains with dental implants made of semi-precious stones. Also, ivory implants were found in skeletons from the Middle Ages unearthed in the Middle East and an iron dental implant was found in the jawbone of a Roman soldier discovered in Europe. However, modern implantology was said to have begun in the 1980’s along with the increased popularity of the titanium cylinder. Since then, modern implantology has started building a strong foundation in the field of dentistry.

Wounds heal poorly in diabetic patients, making them high risk candidates for surgery. A diabetic who wish to have his teeth restored through implants will have to ensure that his blood sugar is controlled. In this case, he may be treated like a regular, healthy patient. Otherwise, a bone graft can be life threatening if the diabetes is uncontrolled. Treatment for diabetes should be a priority before undergoing dental restoration procedures.

A basic test whether a diabetic patient is a candidate for dental implant is the A1c or glycated hemoglobin test. An A1c level of 7% or less is a good indicator. An elevated A1c is an indication of poorly controlled diabetes.

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