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Looking at False teeth alternatives from the patient’s perspective

A patient’s perspective to dental implants and false teeth alternatives (Part 1)

I knew it was a mistake to buy the large bag of raw almonds. With only a few remaining at the bottom of the plastic bag, I felt (and heard) that dreaded crunch – the one you just know at the time is going to cause a problem somewhere down the road. The sharp pain quickly dissipated into a subtle dull ache that lasted only about an hour. And then I forgot about it. It was my (bottom) right mandibular 1st molar – second from the very back. And at the time, I had no idea that 10 months later I would be researching false teeth alternatives at age 48.


With super-hot or super-cold temperatures, the subtle ache would occasionally return for a few hours at a time. My hygiene appointment was already scheduled for a few months later, so I would have Dr. Bob do an exam and give me his trusted expert advice.


The X-Rays revealed a hairline crack, the extent of which was hidden below the root, and not fully discovered until the aborted root canal that followed a few weeks later. It turns out that the crack was more extensive under the gum line, and over time the root eventually died. The prognosis was clear, and my options limited: the tooth would be removed and a follow up on replacement options would eventually be decided upon. 


For those of you in a similar or more extensive situation, I hope this research saves you time and gets accurate information into the hands of people that really need it - my sources have been vetted through the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) , American Board of Oral Implantology (ABOI), and International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) .


Where should I start?


I suggest looking at your situation much like you are buying your first house. It’s a life-long decision, and your oral health affects so much of your life – including your confidence, appearance, eating options, and more subtle aesthetic conditions. Treat it like a project, and you will make the best decision for your unique health and life situation.

Let’s start with the basics:


What is a dental implant?


A dental implant is the anchor that is used to securely hold in place a dental crown, bridge or denture. Consider it the base that is surgically implanted into the jawbone to act just like the root that previously held your original tooth or teeth. Without this (titanium post), the jawbone will recede over time, bringing new problems to your oral health. You see, it’s the stimulation from the simulated root (the implant) that fools the jawbone into thinking the active root is still alive and still in need of its foundation.



Start with your Dentist and then find a specialist


Just like a mechanic, or any other professional that repairs for a living, the degree of skill and experience varies in every industry. If your general family dentist does perform implant surgery, or a portion of the process, it’s important that you feel 100% comfortable.


But it’s more important that you compare the availability of highly skilled and experienced specialists in the field of dental implant surgery. Remember, you wouldn’t buy the first house you see, even if you liked it?