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Are dentists over-diagnosing dental implants?

Two million dental implants are placed in the United States each year, yet over 40% of these may fail, requiring invasive surgery to remove.

CERRITOS, Calif. (June 5, 2017) — Two million dental implants are placed in the United States each year, yet over 40% of these may fail, requiring invasive surgery to remove. Aggressive corporate marketing and doctors’ haste to remove natural teeth are fueling massive growth of the dental implant and prosthetic market in the U.S, projected to reach $6.4 billion by 2018.

Helping patients to retain their natural teeth when possible can improve their overall health and quality of life. There is no USDA requirement for titanium, and Americans are not suffering from a lack of titanium in their diets. Robert H. Gregg II, DDS, Program Director of The Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry (IALD), urges the dental community to exercise caution when recommending and placing dental implants.

“I want to be very clear: I’ve placed implants and still recommend implants today,” stated Dr. Gregg, who lectures internationally on the subject of using dental technology to preserve natural teeth. “There is a distinction between using implants in the right situation and wholesale implant placement. Implants were invented for patients missing all their teeth who could not wear a denture. Today, our profession is overly quick to prescribe implant placement without addressing underlying issues.”

Dental malpractice attorneys have indicated that eight years is the upper limit for the lifespan of a titanium implant. Because bones surrounding the teeth continue to evolve and shift through adulthood, it is best for natural teeth to be retained as long as possible, even if an implant is needed later. Additionally, research suggests that 50% of all implants become infected, with 40% of implants experiencing peri-implantitis, a severe infection that causes bone loss. Recent studies show patients with gum disease are at an even higher risk for implant failure. There are alternatives to implant placement that address the underlying causes of gum disease and save natural dentition, including the LANAP protocol.  The LANAP protocol with the PerioLase® MVP-7™ is the only laser protocol FDA cleared for True Regeneration, regenerating the bone and tissues lost to gum disease.

“The most desirable thing that I want for my patients and myself is to retain natural tissues and parts of my body all our lives,” continued Dr. Gregg. “If there’s no other option, then I’ll recommend implant placement without hesitation.”

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED LASER DENTISTRY: The IALD is a non-profit educational and research center dedicated to providing evidence-based clinical training in advanced laser dentistry therapies. Formed in 1999, the IALD is ADA-CERP and AGD-PACE accredited, and is nationally recognized for its continuing education programs. The IALD’s ultimate goal is for the percentage of patients seeking treatment for periodontitis to reach the percentage of patients seeking general dental care.

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