Oral Health Advice

I need a dental implant. Is it necessary to have bone grafts prior to placing the fixture? When we place dental implants, we need to make sure sufficient bone height and width is present to house the implant. If the bone is very thin from atrophy (bone loss) or shrinkage (from a previous extraction which was not properly repaired [*] ), it will then be necessary to rebuild the site first, then place the implant eight weeks later to allow proper bone levels. This will be a two-phase procedure.

However, in certain circumstances, if your bone height is adequate and high Dr. Larry Kessler, Periodontist Oral Health Advice See us online at: www.communitynewspapers.com enough under the sinus region or the bone thickness is wide enough, we may need to add a minimal amount of regeneration materials at the time of implant placement. This would then be a single procedure. Why go through two surgical procedures when we can get good results with just one?

[*] This also goes for implant placement at the time of extraction of the tooth, as long as there is no infection. We have been doing this for years with excellent results.

I was told I need a few dental implants. If I get them, will that present a problem when I go through security at the airport?
Good question. The material used in implants is titanium and to the best of our knowledge (we have many, many patients who travel all over the world) this has not posed any type of problem. So rest easy — no metal fillings, no gold crowns or titanium dental implants will set off alarms.

I am presently taking blood thinning agents — Plavix (or Coumadin or Warfarin) in addition to aspirin. I am scheduled to have dental implants placed in a few weeks. I was told these medications will have to be suspended. Why?

In some cases, especially when an extraction is involved, there is bleeding during the procedure. In order to allow clotting, the medicines will have to be suspended. Depending on your physician’s protocol, it may be five days or a week; aspirin is usually three days prior to the surgery. If the bone height and width is good, the implant can be placed with a small “tissue punch” through your gum avoiding any incisions and sutures.

If your physician will not defer the medication as it would be a risk factor, this method would be ideal as there is little chance of bleeding. We instruct our patients to resume their normal schedule of medications that evening or the following day of the procedure.

Dr. Kessler’s office is located at 7400 N. Kendall Dr., directly across Dadeland Mall and he may be reached at 305-670-3800 or online at Lkgums@aol.com or www.WeSaveSmiles.com.

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