This morning I took Tampa Road from my office in Palm Harbor, to meet a friend for lunch, and I was struck by how much has changed along that roadway. I remember most of the area between Tampa and Palm Harbor being filled with cypress domes and swampland. On my way back to the office, I got to thinking how my work, and dental implants specifically, have changed as well. I remember when implant dentistry required that I place the dental implants where the bone was. Now, with the many improvements in augmentation, like guided bone regeneration, tooth implantation can be done where it looks best, and patients can have happy chompers and a bright smile!
Besides these aesthetic improvements, the use and popularity of dental implants have increased 18% each year in the US. My own practice in Palm Harbor and the greater Tampa Bay area confirms this rising trend for dental implant surgery. To meet the rising demand requires the latest improvements in technology, especially computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. Three-dimensional imaging has become the foundation of the treatment plan. I’ve also found that patients really like being able to see the images, and understand what’s going to happen and how the images help the success of both the surgery and the final prosthetic outcome.
I think what has changed the most about dental implant surgery, at least for me, is the patient’s willingness to recognize the value in this sort of surgery. It really is like getting a whole new lease on your teeth. Many of my patients have suffered injury to their mouth, and thirty years ago they would have had little option for repairing severe trauma. Dental implant surgery has changed all that.
Still, the technology alone is never enough. Besides the latest and greatest in tech, I know my real offering to the greater Tampa Bay area is twenty-five years of experience in general dentistry and over a dozen years working with dental implants. I’m sure a great deal will change in the next decade. I look forward to new improvements in dental implant technology and greater access to the procedure for those who really need it. And who knows, maybe Tampa road will get back some of those cypress domes!
(Statistics from Implant Dentistry – A Rapidly Evolving Practice, ISBN: 978-953-307-658-4; State-of-the-Art Technology in Implant Dentistry: CAD/CAM
By Ilser Turkyilmaz and Roxanna J. Nicoll)
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A