New Jersey Society of Periodontists Offers Advice to Those Considering Dental Implants

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The New Jersey Society of Periodontists (NJSP) is providing the following advice to help consumers make an educated decision on whether it is best to save their natural teeth or opt for dental implant surgery.

“There's a widespread misconception that tooth extraction and implant surgery are quicker and more convenient than undergoing the periodontal therapy that can actually save a patient’s natural teeth,” Dr. Scott Zirkin.

Periodontists are highly-trained specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of advanced diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures around the teeth, as well as procedures such as dental implants. Therefore they are uniquely qualified in helping patients objectively weigh the pros and cons of tooth preservation and dental implants.

NJPS president and spokesperson Dr. Scott Zirkin says it is very important to consider all of a patient’s treatment options, especially when it comes to invasive surgical procedures, such as tooth extraction and dental implant placement.

“There's a widespread misconception that tooth extraction and implant surgery are quicker and more convenient than undergoing the periodontal therapy that can actually save a patient’s natural teeth,” states Dr. Zirkin.

Traditional periodontal treatment, which includes non-surgical and surgical techniques, has very high success rates for preserving natural teeth.1-3

It has also been shown that dental implant surgery, and when not followed by proper professional and personal oral care, will often fail.4,5

“Implant surgery is not a ‘no-maintenance’ alternative to preserving your natural teeth,” explains Dr. Zirkin. “Many people don’t realize that even dental implants require proper oral hygiene to prevent bone loss (peri-implantitis) and implant failure, which is more common than many dentists and patients realize.”6

While implants do provide a useful option for patients whose natural dentition cannot be saved, sustained progress in periodontics has made preservation increasingly more attainable. For example, recent scientific advances in regeneration have made restoring lost gum and bone tissue more predictable than ever.

According to Dr. Zirkin, “It is critical that patients are made aware of all possible treatment options, and that a clinically proven approach is taken to determine the best possible course of treatment, which depending on the individual, may or may not be dental implants.”

References:

1. Hirshfeld L, Wasserman B. A long-term survey of tooth loss in 600 treated periodontal patients. J Periodontol. 1978 May; 49(5):225-37.
2. Oliver RC. Tooth loss with and without periodontal therapy. Periodontal Abstr. 1969 Mar; 17(1)8-9.
3. Goldman MJ, Ross IF, Goteiner D. Effect of periodontal therapy on patients maintained for 15 years or longer. A retrospective study. J Periodontol. 1986 Jun; 57(6):347-53.
4. Lindhe J, Nyman S. Long-term maintenance of patients treated for advanced periodontal disease. J Clin Periodontol. 1984 Sep; 11(8):504-14.
5. Lindhe J, Westfelt E, Nyman S, Socransky SS, et al. Healing following surgical/non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. A clinical study. J Clin Periodontol.1982 Mar; 9(2):115-28.
6. Lindhe J, Meyle J; Group D of European Workshop on Periodontology. Peri-implant diseases: Consensus Report of the Sixth European Workshop on Periodontology. J Clin Periodontol. 2008 Sep; 35(8 Suppl):282-5.

About the New Jersey Society of Periodontists:

The New Jersey Society of Periodontists (NJSP) is an organization of New Jersey dentists who specialize in the art, science, and practice of periodontics, including implants. The group is dedicated to advancing the knowledge base and understanding of periodontal diseases, as well as advancing ideas in treatment techniques in implantology. NJSP seeks to explore and discuss problems of mutual interest with those in the practice of periodontics and implant dentistry. It supports the public, periodontists, and all dental professionals involved in the oral care of patients of all ages. For more information, please visit http://www.njperio.org.

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Michael Ventriello

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