After dental implants, a mom gained the confidence after 13 years to have her photo taken with son—only the second photo since the day he was born.
Dental implants have many benefits. Essentially, a dental implant is a tooth root replacement. Dental implants can support one new individual tooth, a full arch, or even a full mouth of teeth. The teeth that are affixed to dental implants are fixed and not removable, except when dental implants support dentures that literally snap in, like a snap on a shirt.
Dental implants also have the advantage that they help to maintain bone. When a tooth is missing, the bone shrinks. It literally reabsorbs over just a few months. As much as 50 percent of the bone can literally shrink away to nothing. However, when bone is under pressure, whether from having a natural tooth or a dental implant, the bone is stimulated. This process is analogous doing weight-bearing exercises for the rest of your body which help to maintain strong. healthy bone.
There are also psychological advantages that go along with dental implants. Studies show that using dental implants can make patients feel more confident psychologically because they are not worried that a denture, for instance, is going to fall out of their mouth in social situations.
We can also use dental implants to literally take care of years of dental problems for patients whom we often describe as a dental cripple and change their lives. I have a patient who came in with what appeared to be a very pleasing smile, but all of her teeth were loose. Her tooth concern was that she really could not eat—at least that is what she told me.
I took out all of her teeth and placed a number of implants in both the top and lower jaw What I didn’t know until much later on was that this patient had never had a picture taken with her then 13-years-old son after he was born. She had one picture taken when her son was born. Even though her teeth looked good when she smiled, she lacked confidence due to her loose teeth, and she did not have any more pictures taken until, literally, the day that we delivered, not only her implants, but her immediate fixed teeth, meaning we took the teeth out in a single visit, placed the implants and made temporaries for her right away that we screwed in place.
That was actually the first time in almost 13 years that she had a picture with her son. I had no idea that we were making that kind of an impact. I thought I was simply helping a woman who was having trouble chewing due to failing dentition. The implant dentistry treatment gave her confidence and changed her life in more ways than one.
Dr. Frederic J. Norkin
South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry