More than just placing a Dental Implant.
Once a Professor and Dean of a Government Dental College and Hospital quoted publicly in the Times of India newspaper that ‘70% of Dental Implants placed by Indian Dentists fail’. How can a responsible dental surgeon make such statements without even proving it with a concrete study? This misguides the general public which leads to the fear of dentist in them.
There were times when a few dental surgeons in India worked hard to upgrade the dental profession. There were times when dentists were nicknamed as charlatans because all that they did was removing the healthy teeth and making artificial dentures (plates). This way making money by fooling the patients. Little was known because there were only three dental colleges in India and patients weren’t that educated. Now there are more than four hundred Dental Colleges in India, which has led to several students passing out with a degree in dentistry and because of the technological advancements most of the general public is aware of at least the basics in dentistry. In fact, several individuals prefer doing a thorough research before visiting the dentist for a particular problem. On the contrary, a large number of people hardly know about health & Oral Hygiene. The most important thing everyone should be educated is on healthy oral hygiene & should also be made aware that most of the diseases start from the mouth. Mouth is the gateway to all the diseases.
Oral Implantology and various other dental specialties have made a revolutionary advancement in oral health care. Today many people want fixed teeth near missing natural teeth. Every other trained dental surgeon today practices implantology dentistry, which can last a lifetime. For this science, special hands-on courses are given by experts.
Therefore, the general public looking for a solution to their missing teeth should know more about how a dental implant functions in the mouth. Failure can occur for any dental procedure if it is not done well. In short it can be said that IMPLANT PROSTHODONTICS is made very popular all over the world. Dental implants are safe, surgically placed without any discomfort, depending on the general health of the patient. Dental surgeons mainly deal with hard and soft tissues in the mouth and are trained for these advanced ailments. Claims made by some dentists have created a bad image among dental surgeons. I say it’s very easy to speak but it’s difficult to do it. The reconstruction of a localized edentulous (without teeth) area is further complicated in the upper jaw if it falls within the maxillary sinus. Also, in the upper jaw the bone is of the soft variety. Therefore, it takes a longer time for an implant to stabilize which runs into more than seventeen weeks. One must wait before a crown is constructed on such a root implant.
Dental Implants (screw type) can be inserted immediately after extraction in some cases only, and a temporary crown is fabricated on the same day. Bone factor thus is an important component in successful implant practice. Also, bone factor is greatly influenced by hormonal changes, vitamins, mineral supplements like calcium, magnesium, Vit.D3 and Endocrine glands. The last century marks the advent of dental implantology in India, when the first ever Vitallium metal implant was surgically inserted in the lower jawbone on a patient by me in 1962. This was successful because it lasted for about twelve years when the same patient died due to other illness. This case was presented to the faculty present at that time at Nair Hospital & Dental College, Bombay. Thereafter huge progress has been made in the practice and principles of dental implants. Today a Dental Implant leaps forward in techniques, technologies, materials and concepts of implant treatment not only in India but all over the world. It all started because patients after total extractions did not favor removable dentures as these removable dentures not only gave poor function but also the jawbones resulted in bone resorption and loosening of complete dentures due to breakdown process.
In 1976 I inserted a Blade- vent implant in a female patient who had cancer. The lower half of the jaw was removed surgically due to cancer, the remaining lacking any natural teeth. The patient was closing her mouth in one direction only. Upper teeth were present. Blade – vent implants inserted in the other remaining half of the lower jaw which had Brachy Therapy (irradiation treatment) done. Within a year it was found that a new bone had grown interlacing the Blade-vent implant and she could function her lower jaw with a fixed bridge placed on the implants. A training flange was made in such a way that she could close her half jaw articulating her upper teeth. This paper was published by me in an American Journal, which appeared in the Yearbook of Dentistry the same year. Today, several dental implants are inserted in cancer patients where lots of hard tissues are remaining and not surgically removed. I always maintained that dental science is a creative science and many treatments are possible based on Basic Principles of Implantology and Bone growth.
For the love of Oral Implantology and a passion for this science I started two dental societies; one was Indian Prosthodontic Society in 1973 and the other was Bombay Society of Oral Implantologists in 1988, which eventually went on to become the Indian Society of Oral Implantologists commonly called as ISOI. I would proudly like to say that I was the founder president of BSOI. My intention was to educate dentists on Oral Implantology and help patients get back to their normal life. Implant Prosthodontics has grown enormously since the introduction of root-form dental implants. Today, every other dentist puts dental implants in patient’s mouth. However, some of them fail because of many reasons. The entire scope of treatment depends on each case planning, general health of the patient, the real need of the patient, time factor, monetary capabilities, oral hygiene and absence of any debilitating diseases. Other reasons are lack of daily home care, lack of regular check-up visits, lack of dental IQ etc. One should learn the science of Oral Implantology but should also master the art to be fit to be called as an “Implantologist”.
New techniques in pre-surgical evaluation, diagnosis and treatment planning must be established. These include X-ray technology, computed tomographic scanning, new software programs which defines bone quality and quantity, proper planned surgery and prosthetic treatment.
Today, there are more than fifty Implant systems manufactured by commercial houses along with their expertise. Several academic
hands-on courses are given to budding dentists, but it is the experience and knowledge that leads to the successful Implant practice. A lot depends on whether the implanted root can withstand about 300-pound pressure exerted on the mastication process over a lifetime. Dental surgeons can make life more livable.