Dental Implants – The Future of Dentistry

It’s easy to understand why dental implants have become very popular these days. Implant dentistry is highly predictable, offers greater flexibility with regards to treatment possibilities, and can give patients fully functional teeth in as short as an hour with minimum discomfort and pain using a local anesthetic with or without sedation.

With today’s technology, dental implants can replace a single tooth or the entire upper or lower teeth. They also help support dentures, making them more secure and comfortable. This makes them an ideal option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.

In the Philippines, oral implants were first popularized by Dr. Joseph D. Lim, a diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and former president of the Asian Oral Implant Academy. At his clinic at Suite 202 of the Jollibee Center Building along San Miguel Avenue in Pasig City, Manila, Lim explained that people with dental implants have many reasons to smile. First is because dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. Lim said they stop the jawbone from shrinking and eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.

Unlike traditional dentures and bridgework that rely on neighboring teeth for support, Lim said dental implants integrate with the bone and healthy teeth don’t have to be destroyed to accommodate them. This results in an improved appearance, a more natural smile, and greater self-confidence. Since they are anchored securely to your jawbone, Lim said dental implants also improve your appetite. They allow you to eat your favorite foods with comfort and confidence.

Just about anyone with missing teeth can get a dental implant provided he or she is in good health and has enough jawbone for the implant. But the latter shouldn’t be a problem nowadays since manufacturers have come up with new implant designs that match a person’s bone structure.

What Lim is more concerned about is the misuse of dental implants by some dentists who are pretending to be experts. Lim warned that not all dentists can perform implant surgery which has its own share of risks that’s why it’s important to check the person’s credentials. American Health magazine said that 90 percent of dentists who call themselves “implantologists” have attended only short weekend courses which are barely enough to make them experts. To protect yourself from these “pseudo-implantologists,” get to know the dentist’s background and training and don’t be ashamed to ask.

For toothless people who want to eat, speak, talk, and live normally, Lim said dental implants are the answer. As the technology grows and becomes more affordable, Lim is confident it’s only a matter of time before we see an end to the suffering caused by tooth decay.

“Oral implants are the future of dentistry. In fact, it is the only branch of dentistry that can replace missing teeth. As the human lifespan increases, so will the need for dental implants. Despite advances in oral health, tooth decay continues to be a major problem and the number of toothless people is expected to grow. With dental implants, these people can live normally and comfortably. They’re the next best thing to real teeth,” Lim concluded.

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