Periodontists report dental implants are bringing smiles to patients' faces

November 16, 2000

CHICAGO - Periodontists are placing more implants than they did five years ago, and the vast majority of their patients are very satisfied with the results, according to a recent online poll of periodontists conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. Nearly 88 percent of the 295 periodontists polled reported that they perform implant surgery. Many of these respondents wrote in that their patients with implants often tell them that they forget the implants are not their natural teeth.

The survey showed that people from all age groups are opting for implants. However, 43 percent of the periodontists polled said half or more of the implants they place are for people ages 55 to 79, while 31 percent reported that half or more of the implants that they place are for the baby boomers - people ages 35 to 54. The top reasons for tooth loss leading to implant placement were periodontal disease, tooth decay and accidents, violence or injuries.

Dental implants have proven to be the answer for many people with missing or damaged teeth - from the 21-year-old woman who had trained herself not to smile or laugh for fear of exposing her damaged front teeth to the public speaker who had experienced losing his teeth during a speech. "I've been told by my patients that getting implants changed their whole life and made them look and feel younger," said Ira Port, D.M.D., a periodontist in Toms River, N.J., echoing a sentiment expressed by many of the periodontists surveyed.

Periodontists say the biggest deterrent for patients who decide against dental implants is cost. The average charge for a single implant placed by a periodontist is between $1,000 and $2,000, according to the survey. Implants are usually not covered by dental insurance. However, periodontists point out that implants, while expensive in the short term, are long-lasting and more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework since they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.

"You can't put a price tag on some of the esthetic and health benefits of dental implants," said Michael McGuire, D.D.S., president of AAP. "Dental implants integrate with the jawbone to help prevent the loss of bone that accompanies conventional dentures or bridges.

Loss of bone can lead to visible defects for people missing a single tooth or collapsed smiles for people who have lost all of their teeth. In addition, implants allow most people to return to a regular diet, including apples and corn on the cob."

Another deterrent cited by about 10 percent of the periodontists was the time commitment involved in getting implants. The survey found that on average placing a single implant takes between five-and-a-half and seven-and-a-half months. After the implant is placed, it usually takes about two to six months for it to bond with the bone to form an anchor for the artificial tooth.

During this time a temporary tooth replacement option can be worn. Often, a second step is then necessary to uncover the implant and attach an extension, which completes the foundation for the new tooth. The gums are allowed healing time following this step.

About 73 percent of periodontists described the level of pain or discomfort that the majority of patients experience in the process of getting implants as very little to none. Another 23 percent said getting implants is only somewhat painful or uncomfortable during limited periods of time. Many periodontists wrote in that their patients have commented after getting implants that they were surprised by the lack of pain.

Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. People who have missing or damaged teeth should ask their periodontists if they are a candidate and about the process and cost involved for them.
A referral to a periodontist or free brochures, including Dental Implants: Teeth that Look and Feel Just Like Your Own are available by calling 1-800-FLOSS-EM, or visit the AAP's Web site at

The AAP is a 7,500-member association of dental professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.

American Academy of Periodontology

Related Periodontal Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Forsyth researchers demonstrate how changing the stem cell response to inflammation may reverse periodontal disease
In new research published recently in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, Forsyth Institute scientists have discovered that a specific type of molecule may stimulate stem cells to regenerate, reversing the inflammation caused by periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease: Patent for new treatment method
New biodegradable rods promise to provide better treatment for periodontal disease.

Acute periodontal disease bacteria love colon and dirt microbes
Mythbuster: The idea that bacterial collaborations within microbiomes, like in the mouth, have evolved to be generous and exclusive very much appears to be wrong.

Metabolomic profiling of antibody response to periodontal pathogens
At the 97th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Jaakko Leskela, University of Helsinki, Finland, gave an oral presentation on 'Metabolomic Profiling of Antibody Response to Periodontal Pathogens.'

New technique could help regrow tissue lost to periodontal disease
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all Americans will have periodontal disease at some point in their lives.

Periodontal disease bacteria may kick-start Alzheimer's
Long-term exposure to periodontal disease bacteria causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons in mice that is similar to the effects of Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Systematic treatment of periodontal disease: Advantage of further therapeutic approaches
An indication or hint of greater benefit was now shown for six instead of two therapeutic measures.

Investigating the enigmatic link between periodontal inflammation and retinal degeneration
At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Hyun Hong, The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University, presented a poster titled 'Investigating the Enigmatic Link Between Periodontal Inflammation and Retinal Degeneration.' The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.

The subgingival virome in periodontal health and disease
At the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), held in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Abby Siefker, The Ohio State University, Columbus, presented an oral session titled 'The Subgingival Virome in Periodontal Health and Disease.' The AADR/CADR Annual Meeting is in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., USA from March 21-24, 2018.

Oral microbiota indicates link between periodontal disease and esophageal cancer
An analysis of bacteria present in the mouth showed that some types of bacteria that lead to periodontal disease were associated with higher risk of esophageal cancer.

Read More: Periodontal Disease News and Periodontal Disease Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to