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Dental Implants

My son is 25 years old, mildly affected, and I’m interested in him getting dental implants. Can you tell me if this would be recommended and what the procedure would be? Are the implants permanent?

Dental implants are a permanent approach to replacement of a missing or extracted tooth. Dental implants can also act as anchors for partial or full dentures that snap onto them for a secure fit. The implant itself is an anchor or root-like structure--made of Titanium upon which a dental crown can be fabricated that is secured onto the "root" thus replacing a missing tooth. The procedure is first started by "implanting" a Titanium rod into the existing bone where the original tooth was located.

It takes about 3-6 months for bone to integrate itself (grow through little holes in the implant) into the implant. The implant is then uncovered and a metallic core is screwed on top of the "root". A crown is then placed on top of the core piece. Implants are very good. They are as permanent as anything we can do in dentistry. BUT---it takes meticulous oral hygiene to maintain this "foreign body" that has been implanted. The Titanium is well accepted by the body and is not usually rejected, but infection around the gums of the implant due to poor oral hygiene can cause a loss of the implant. So, if oral hygiene is very good and can be maintained, then an implant is a possibility for patients with CdLS.

If hygiene is poor and if the patient does a lot of dental grinding--bruxism--I would not recommend an implant. The constant pressure from grinding can also have an adverse affect upon the implant.

I am not an expert in this area, so I would discuss this with an oral surgeon or dentist who does a lot of them.

DM 6/2011



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