We often hear about incredible advances in medicine such as artificial organs grown in a laboratory and the latest artificial knees or hips. We don’t hear as much about the latest advances in dentistry, but they have been just as stunning.
The last thirty years in dentistry, for example, has seen a revolution in the development and availability of dental implants. Once considered experimental and as a last resort treatment, implants have become the best standard of care for many situations. They can replace a single tooth or all your teeth. Implant dentistry is changing lives every bit as much as artificial knees and hips.
When we lose a tooth we actually lose a lot more. Often 40 percent of the jawbone is lost within the first year of tooth extraction. The face can collapse and we age prematurely. Until implants were available, there was nothing we could do about this dramatic loss of facial structure. Replacing a tooth or teeth with implants not only replaces the teeth, but even more importantly it prevents the melting away of the jaw structure.
Problems with your loose, lower denture? As few as two implants can hold a lower denture solidly in place. You can eat healthy foods you had given up on and stop worrying about embarrassing denture slips.
Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School.