Not what you were expecting to see? Since I work for a dentist, Dr. Paul Caputo, in Palm Harbor, Florida I decided to dress up as an M—— plant for Halloween. I guess you could say “Not all implants are the same”, ha ha. Dr. Caputo has put in countless chair side hours providing implant therapy in addition to following up with the newest technologies and training courses available regarding implants.
Not every dentist has the knowledge, equipment or skills needed to perform implant surgery, which in some cases involves more complex procedures such as sinus augmentations, bone grafting, tissue re-contouring and a whole other plethora of procedures. Although I have been in the dental field for more than three decades: Yes, I know I look awesome for my age; it has only been by working for Dr. Caputo that I have learned so much about implants and the various types of implant restorations available.
It is true that implant therapy is expensive, but there are variances of expense relevant to what type of final restoration you are interested in. Fixed bridgework or crowns are much more expensive because they are a “fixed” restoration. In lay-man’s terms that means they are cemented in place and do not go in and out of the mouth. An over-denture is less expensive, but it does go in and out of the mouth just like a denture, only it has specialized attachments and/or fittings that make it “snap” into place on top of the implants. This creates a more stable and snugger fitting denture/partial than a traditional one.
Implants are warranted for several different reasons. Adolescent children may never develop some of their adult teeth. This is usually a genetic trait and you will see it passed down through generations. If a child never develops some of their adult front (anterior) teeth, then an implant might be warranted. Although a traditional three unit bridge could be constructed if they are missing just one front tooth, it would result in grinding down the two teeth next to the missing tooth. Most times those adjacent teeth are perfect, with no cavities, strong roots and solid enamel. It is a shame to grind them down to small stubs in order to place a three unit bridge just to replace the adult tooth that is missing. It’s also a shame that most dental insurance companies won’t pay for the implant therapy, but will pay for a three unit bridge.
Implant therapy might be considered by elderly patients as a “second chance” at a healthier and more esthetically pleasing smile than what they have now or have had to deal with over several years. Many times patients will explain that they lost their teeth at an earlier age because they were raising a family and finances simply didn’t permit them to invest in their dental health. These patients have either worn dentures or partials for years and have felt regret over losing their teeth and their natural smile. In their “older” years they are able to finally invest in themselves and therefore are excited about the possibility of implants and implant therapy.
It is rewarding to watch the transformation in patients that have been struggling with an ill fitting denture and/or other dental issues leave with a “new smile” that is not only beautiful to look at, but also functional and strong. The pride and self confidence the patient leaves with is “priceless”.
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A