Are dental implants better to have in your mouth or in your hand? A pretty obvious answer if you ask anyone. But more and more patients are coming in holding their implants in their hands instead of in their mouths, where they belong.
Two days ago, I encountered a patient who had 3 implants placed in the upper jaw several years ago by another dentist. Things went well for a few years but now she presented with the implants in her hand instead of her mouth. So what went wrong?
Dental implants are touted to have a 98% success rate but that doesn’t mean that certain basic principles can be overlooked and still extpect that high success rate. Dental implants need to be embedded in bone and if they are only partially inside bone, they have a much higher faliure rate.
So what should patients know before they have dental implants placed. In most cases a special 3D image of the existing bone is warranted. This gives the surgeon a perfect view of what to expect at the time of dental implant placement. Without it, many times surgeon go in blind. Many times, if the surgeon doesn’t have all the information, they can try to stretch the limitations of dental implants.
The result is dental implants in one’s hand instead of one’s mouth.