"A picture is worth a thousand words" Very true that it is easier to convey the meaning of a complex idea with just a single picture.
I believe the proverb is contributed to the ancient philosopher Confucius.
Well I am just not that smart to have come up with such an elegant way to describe that visualization is a great way to absorb lots of data quickly and efficiently.
As a dentist I am bothered that many try to misinform the very patients we try and help daily with web postings such as this:
"Mini implants, often offered by less experienced dentists as a quick and less costly solution to replacing missing teeth, have a high degree of complications and failure and therefore are not recommended for long-term tooth replacement. Only standard size implants should be used for teeth replacement to achieve long-term success and longevity." These comments were made in December 2009.
Where are these complications? Where are these failures? I would think that a practice like mine where we focus on mini dental implants I would have hundreds of documented cases of failed mini dental implants. All the colleagues I meet from around the country would certainly share with me their failures if there was a high degree of them. To date I have not seen this. If anyone wants to see long term data you can look at them in Todd Shatkin's Compendium Article as well as several articles by Gordon Christensen.
Do mini dental implants fail? Sure they do….but not at any rate different than standard size implants. The basic premise applies. Place the implant under the correct protocol it will integrate. If the occlusal (biting) loads are managed correctly then the implant will work long term under function.
I think the higher road to take is to explain both options to patients. Mini Dental Implants do work and have been show to work well for a multitude of fixed (Crowns and Bridges) and removable (Partial and Complete Dentures) solutions for 12 years. Can I provide 35+ years of success. No….but if 12 years is an indicator then I suspect that they will. No gain is provided to dentistry and the patients we serve with misinformation.
In conclusion lets use Confucius's proverb show what I hope to communicate.
3 Mini Dental Implant to support 2 premolar crowns in the upper jaw. Placed and restored with PFM crowns 12-21-2009.
One year post op x-ray 12-21-2010. Same three mini dental implants with 2 PFM premolar crowns in the upper jaw.
Confucius emphasized personal morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. I hope to see more of this in organized dentistry.
Paresh B Patel Dentist Mooresville NC