In today’s focus on dentistry, let’s talk about dental implants and whether or not they’re appropriate for you.

Hi, I’m Dr. Paul Henny and let’s spend a few minutes talking about kind of a new area in dentistry, at least since I went to dental school, the topic of dental implants. I’m sure you’ve heard about that, almost everybody’s heard about that, or perhaps been in a situation where that was a treatment option that was brought forward to them by a dentist.

What exactly is a dental implant?

Well let’s go back to the beginning. Probably almost 40 years ago now, 35 years ago, in Europe, the concept of dental implants was developed, and essentially they are screws put in the bones of our jaws. And that basic idea has been refined and developed more and more over the past 30, 35 years up until now, where it’s become a very viable option to replace either individual teeth or multiple teeth all at the same time.

It’s actually a procedure that in the average individual is relatively not traumatic, it sounds a lot worse than it actually is. Today we will commonly take a tooth out that is cracked or broken in some way that it can no longer be used, and we can sometimes put an implant in that very same day. Sometimes we can even use it that very same day and put in a temporary tooth on it. So the aspect of dental implants keeps evolving, the options of using them keeps getting more broad, and it’s quite exciting.

What are some of the limitations of dental implants?

Well, you’ve got to have good bones to put an implant into to begin with. You’ve got to have enough bone mass, in height and in width, for you to receive a dental implant and that’s something that a well-trained dentist can evaluate and give you an opinion on. If you don’t have good quality bone we’ve even got a solution for that in some cases. For the last ten or fifteen years we’ve developed ways that we can even grow bone, develop bone areas where bone is deficient, particularly in width. So this is even an option now when you’ve got a place, a place where a tooth used to be, and you’d like to have a tooth there again, we can actually grow bone there and put an implant in. It sounds crazy, if not impossible, but it’s actually being done every day in dentistry today.

So these are just some very simple overviews of what we’re using dental implants for today. It’s becoming a procedure that’s replacing what traditional what we call bridgework more and more often because the statistics are telling us that they’re more reliable and their lifespan is longer.

If the dentist that you’re seeing right now is not talking to you about dental implants when you’re losing teeth and you’d like to learn more about that then I’d be happy to talk to you about that. I do that sort of thing all the time.

Please give me a call, (540) 744-1577 and I hope to hear from you soon.”