Dr. Guy Giacopuzzi DDS, for the ultimate in fine dental health. Fancy Floss: Dental Floss Device, Lake Arrowhead, California, 92352.

Why Implants...or Who Needs Them?

Implant Series - Dr. Guy Giacopuzzi, DDS, inventor of the Fancy Floss
Immediate Implant Placement
Find out if you are a candadite for an Immediate Implant. Call Dr. Guy Giacopuzzi at (909) 337-9879 for an appointment.

Most people have the opinion that the less their teeth bother them, the better. Most of us want to be able to smile, chew food, not have bad breath or dental disease and be pain free. Assuming you are in that current state, you probably give little thought to implants, or the possibility of ever needing them. But letís further assume that you have at least one filling in your mouth...Having just one filling could easily make you an implant patient at some time in the future...hereís how it could happen....

The filling could be silver. If itís been there for over ten years, itís been stressing the tooth thermally. How does that happen? Silver fillings expand and contract at a rate four times that of tooth structure. For the first ten years or so, your tooth can handle this flexure. As you age, the tooth begins cracking. So, letís say fifteen to twenty years after the filling was placed, a cusp (the part of the tooth with the pointed edge), breaks off. You go to your dentist, and he/she places a crown on the tooth.

This feels good, allowing you to chew again, and everything is fine for several more years. When the tooth received the crown, the nerve was irritated, first by the decay that necessitated the filling, then the filling, and now by the crown. This is normal. But 15% of all teeth that receive a crown develop pulpal symptoms....what are pulpal symptoms? In a word, it means the nerve gives up and starts to die. It starts off with the tooth becoming sensitive to cold...sometimes it gets sensitive to bite on, sometimes it just starts hurting without any provocation.

You start to hurt, and you go back to your dentist complaining of a tooth ache. He/she now says you need a root canal. In order to save you the cost of the crown, he/she may even perform the root canal through the existing crown. After the root canal, the pain goes away. And you forget about it for a few more years. Then you eat something unusually hard, and the tooth seems to now hurt everytime you bite on it. Back again to the dentist....

Now he/she talks to you about taking the tooth out....the dentist now says the tooth has a root fracture and canít be saved. The dentist discusses a bridge as a replacement....but a bridge is simply two crowns on two teeth with a false tooth between them. Placing a bridge involves putting two natural teeth ďinto the pencil sharpenerĒ, further endangering their pulps, plus loading the two teeth with the load of three. Not good.

Hopefully, your dentist will discuss implants with you. An implant replaces the missing tooth with a new root and new crown. The adjacent teeth are left alone to carry their own loads. The cost is only slightly more than extracting the tooth and placing a bridge, and the reliability is far superior.