I’m very excited to announce the blog I’m starting this week. I hope you all find it informative and interesting. I recently attended the 10th Annual Implant Symposium at Columbia University. My first placement of an implant was in the year 1981. Since than an enormous amount of developments has occurred. I spend a great deal of time attending continuing education and although I’m practicing 42 years, I always learn something at these classes. I believe a doctor’s education never ends.
I would like to share with you some thoughts on how many implants are needed in the upper or lower arch if you absolutely have no teeth remaining. Many patients believe you need one implant for each tooth that needs to be replaced. In fact, that is very far from the truth. Did you know that in most instances only 4 implants in an arch is satisfactory to provide a full set of teeth for that individual. Another factor that was emphasized at the symposium was that the lengths of implants is not as important as we once believed. The longest implant that is ever needed is 10mm, except for zygoma implants, which I will explain at another time. That’s right, only 10mm is needed. That is a big game changer when we must worry about how much bone a patient has left to insert an implant. The truth of the matter is that only the first 6mm of an implant plays importance in providing a secure implant for a tooth to be attached. The importance of these two factors is that you can significantly cut the cost of providing implants to patients. Shorter implants can mean less bone grafting for the patient when the remaining bone is not ideal in nature. Fewer implants placed obviously cuts down on the cost as well. So the next time you think about having implants get a comprehensive evaluation before worrying if you can afford the greatest thing that has happened in dentistry in the past fifty years.
Please feel free to email me any questions or comments on what I have written. Gellerdds@aol.com