I have mouth problems and have noticed that pretty much every dentist I have seen over the last few years has pushed dental implants. Except my current one who said I don’t have enough bone. So, I was interested to see a story in the Mail today which suggests the ‘replace teeth with implants’ approach may have been misguided:
The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry has even started a course preparing dentists for the approaching ‘tsunami of failing dental implants’. Indeed, some are asking if extracting decayed teeth to replace them with implants, rather than doing fillings on the tooth or the root, is advisable.
Recent evidence suggests that it may not be. Last year Dr Liran Levin, head of research at the School of Dental Medicine at the Israeli Institute of Technology in Haifa, looked at the survival rates of implants compared with decayed teeth that were treated. He found that while one implant in three fails within 15 years, just one natural tooth in five that dentists considered ‘questionable’ had failed after treatment. Even more surprising, as the Journal of the American Dental Association reported, only one natural tooth in three that dentists considered in an even worse state – ie, ‘hopeless’ – had failed within the timescale.
The reason, Dr Levin suggests, is that far from preventing bone loss, implants may promote it by triggering a serious infection, different from normal gum disease, which slowly destroys the bone holding the implant in place, causing it to loosen.
‘We’ve got a new man-made disease, peri-implantitis,’ he says.
Now I thank my current dentist for telling me the truth and not just pushing lucrative implants that wouldn’t have worked for me in all likelihood reading this.
You can read the story here: