Tooth versus implant

By Mitchel Senft, D.M.D.,D.I.C.O.I.

Question: Should I have my tooth extracted and have a dental implant placed; I heard they are better than my tooth?
Answer: Dental implants are a great tooth-replacement device. Of all the tooth-replacement options, these dental prosthesis best mimic a natural tooth and stimulate the jawbone to maintain its density and volume.
The key word here is replacement — not substitution. Root form implants have been in the development since the early 1980s. Teeth have been in development for billions of years. There are no substitutes for natural teeth but your natural teeth.
If you have a tooth that is broken down and cannot be saved, the best replacement is a dental-implant-supported crown. If you had periodontal disease and you are trying to get the last bit of life out of those teeth at the expense of loosing your jawbone, then at this point you would be advised to extract those teeth, preserve the remaining bone, and place implant-supported restorations. The dental implant would make better use of the remaining bone and help preserve it rather than destroy it.
So, if you have teeth that can be viable with some dental intervention, keep them. If the teeth that are compromised are more of a negative than a positive, your dental treatment dollars will be better used on replacing these teeth with dental implant restorations.



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