Thursday, November 25, 2010

How safe are dental implants?

CeraRoot zirconia dental implant (metal-free) ...Image via Wikipedia
As I am confronted with healthcare choices that run the gamut from A-Z, dental implants have crept in amongst them.  Sitting reclined  in the dental chair at nearly 180 degrees is not a good place to decide upon something as serious as invasive dental surgery. No matter what the dentist says.  Best to arm yourself with the facts well ahead of time.

Just how safe are dental implants?  Who should get them and who should not?  What are some special consideration?  This article will probe some of these important questions.

What are dental implants?

After a tooth is extracted, an unsightly gap is left where the old root and tooth once was. Usually, the implant procedure involves drilling a hole into the gum and jawbone and placing a titanium implant - although there are many other materials used - into the jawbone where it must then fuse into the bone. The time varies from individual to individual for fusion. It can take up to six months depending on the overall health. Once healing has occurred the patient will be fitted for a permanent false tooth. (

Who should not get implants?

The decision to get dental implants is one that includes the condition of your overall health; pre-existing health conditions might preclude certain people from getting them.  Therefore, the primary physician should be consulted. People with certain blood diseases, immune disorders or any other disease that might affect healing should especially to their doctors. 

Those taking medications should get the opinion of their physician, particularly those people who are taking medications that could affect healing and bleeding such as steroids, blood thinners, chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer drugs.

Some special considerations

Some medical professionals feel that those individuals who are prone to infections should not get implants. Being foreign in the body, implants are said to trigger changes in the immune system that make it less efficient at fighting infections and viruses. All patients however must meticulously keep the area clean to try to avoid such complications.(

Medical and dental professionals do agree that the leaving of a gap in the mouth is not a good idea as this can such changes in the bone and tooth structure in the mouth causing crowding of remaining teeth and other structural changes in the mouth. This gap had usuallly been addressed by bridges and partials - certainly less invasive procdeures.

The final word

Be proactive in matters regarding your health.  Don't just go along with a suggestion  because a doctor or dentist made it.  Get a second opinion -  as always, and do  research yourself to be more knowledgeable about both the positive and negative outcomes.


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