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Dental implants 'must be fully understood'
Updated: 4/11/2008 10:00:30 AM
 

Dental implants are now the most popular option on the market for those that have lost some or all of their teeth, but a dentist has warned that patients must be educated about their choices.

Speaking to Dental Economics, Dr Spector, a specialist in dental implants who previously taught at NYU, acknowledged that the implants "are the closest thing to natural teeth".

With one in four Americans having lost all their permanent teeth by age 74, the demand for viable alternatives to awkward fixed bridges or dentures has grown in recent years.

In response, the standard of dental implants has improved dramatically over the last decade - the procedure is now less invasive and has a 96 per cent success rate nationally, the publication reported.

However, Dr Spector warned that the procedure may not work for everyone and said people need to be aware of the risks and limitations associated with implants.

"The best thing the doctor can do to ensure success is to tell the patient when the site is not right or needs upgrading before proceeding," he added.

Heavy smokers are usually not eligible for dental implants, as their habit can reduce the success rate of the procedure by as much as 30 per cent.

Smoking also increases the risk of gum disease, tooth staining and oral cancer.
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