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Dentistry/tooth implant

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Question
When so much of a tooth when so much has decayed or broken away that it needs to establish a connection into the gum, is an dental implant the last resort?  Are they good for life or can they break or have problems over time  like fillings?

Is an implant typically called an ""implant supported crown"? Is it related to a "surgical placement: eposteal/transosteal implant", because that seems to be the prohibitively expensive part.

Answer
Jeff - When there is extensive decay and the tooth has decayed below the bone line, an implant is a good treatment to replace the tooth.  If, however, the decay is below the gum and yet above the bone, then a regular crown, root canal treatment and post is a good solution.  

Nothing can be done in the mouth and assured that it will be permanent.  The main reason is that the patient is very important in maintaining any restoration placed in the mouth.  So restorations can potentially always fail if the patient is not attentive to keeping the implant or tooth very clean and if the patient does not maintain the saliva in the mouth at a neutral level, failure is always possible.

So it doesn't matter if there is a simple filling placed, a crown or an implant, they can all fail if the patient is keeping the area clean and healthy.

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Volunteer


Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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