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reason to do otherwise. I prefer the periodontist because  I believe he is more suitable to be involved with planning the restoration and maintenance after placement. I feel that  gives the most comprehensive care.

The  concept is very simple in  implant dentistry, but the actual doing of it, and doing it well, is tricky and depends on  attention to minute details for  best  chances of long-term success.  The costs and maintenance is higher  and so are the rewards, with  results that are the closest to nature that are possible at this time.  Physically and emotionally, the results feel more natural, normal and youthful.  Is this  worth "going the extra mile" for?  Only you can answer that but I would be happy to talk with you about it to put it in perspective!

Update  August 2008!

Until now I have not seen much to suggest that there are many  unexpected complications with implant dentistry.  There can be  failure  of the implant so that it gets loose  like a tooth does with gum disease, the  implant can actually break, or the screw holding the tooth part that shows in your mouth can come loose or break. 

Personally, in my own practice I have seen very few complications, and of the ones I have seen, they were mostly minor and easily fixed. 

In August, 2008, two articles were published in the Journal of the American Dental Association [vol. 139, pages 1052 and 1061] that  discussed  two different types of  oral cancers that seem to have been  caused somehow - or were exacerbated by - dental implants.   This was a big surprise to me since I had never heard of this  relationship before.  The authors  state that these are reports of "rare" and "uncommon" occurrences.  While I believe that to be a true statement, we will need more time to find out just how "rare" and "uncommon" it actually is.

A great many implants are being placed each year and the number is, I believe, increasing rapidly every year.  While unlikely to happen from a statistical perspective, it  is another factor to be  weighed in your decision-making process.  There is the suggestion that a  previous history of oral cancer might  make this complication more likely.  How much more?  I don't know.

Unfortunately it is  sometimes because of  oral cancer damage that  implants are needed in the first place....

Stay tuned!

Update  August 2014!

In the years since the last update in 2008, I have  heard of no further implications regarding cancer.  In fact, a great many more implants are being placed and the success rates are close to 100%.  The technology and expertise has increased exponentially with a corresponding increase in success and patient acceptance and satisfaction.

 

Update  August 2016!

In the last few years there have been many advances in implant dentistry.  Computer imaging and computer assisted x-ray systems have allowed much more precise - and therefore more successful - placement of implants.  Many less dramatic but nonetheless important advances have been made to the implants themselves, placement techniques and materials.

One interesting new thing is the appearance of zirconia implants in the USA.  Instead of the implant being made of titanium metal which is gray-silver in color, these are made of white zirconia, offering better esthetics in some areas of the mouth [especially in the front teeth area].

Zirconia implants have been used in Europe for at least a decade but only  recently have received FDA approval for use in the USA.  They seem to work and as I said offer some advantage regarding esthetics.  Unfortunately, to date I have not seen peer-reviewed research articles comparing them to the titanium implants that have been used for a long time in the USA.  I don't believe they have nearly as much versatility as the many titanium systems and not many dentists are using them yet [compared to titanium].

 

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Michael Goldman DDS
3815 East-West Highway
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

301-656-6171

More info about the following is available  if you select  "topics".

Holism in dentistry is an approach to dental treatment, primarily  caring for  patients' health and safety from both a conventional as well as  "alternative healthcare" point of view.   It is sometimes called "biological" dentistry or "biocompatible" dentistry.  In it's fullest sense, I believe it   acknowledges and deals with  the mind, body and spirit of the patient, not just his or her "teeth".  See Topics / Info.....

Cosmetic dentistry is about doing   quality , esthetic dentistry in a way that looks natural to begin with, and furthermore,   can even  improve  one's  attractiveness through techniques such as bonding, bleaching, veneers, caps, implants and more.  It can   be like "instant orthodontics" in correcting  crooked, twisted or misplaced teeth in many instances.  Dark or misshapen teeth can be restored.   Smiles that lack youthful vigor or beauty can be revitalized! See Topics / Info..

Bleaching, veneers, bonding, caps, bridges, and implants  are cosmetic dentistry treatments that are also  discussed in  Cosmetic Dentistry, and more...located in the Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 area near Washington DC.

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