Implants For Everybody
In the early days of implantology mainly members of the implantologists family and a few rich people received implants. Implants were exotic, and available only in a few places in the world. Prof. L. Linkow (New York), the motor of modern implantology, placed his first (subperiosteal) implant 6 weeks after leaving the university in 1956. He continued working and inventing and teaching for more than 4 decades. On the other side of the atlantic ocean, the University of Zurich was condemning dental implants until 1986. The protagonists in this institution were 30 years behind (and they probably still are).
Dental implantology was for many years available only for people at the top of the pyramid. It was expensive. This fact was partly the result of a lack of exchange of knowledge between the countries: practitioners who “knew” could not work in other countries: they needed licenses and language skills and the will to roam.
Another reason why not everyone can get implants until today is rigidness of science. Universities are no longer the promotors of inventions and the origin of “the future”. Our modern Universities have turned to be the preservers of the past and the antiques.
In western countries health insurances were another obstacle to progress: modern therapies were not refunded and treatments in foreign countries were excluded as well. This has kept patients dependent on local treatment providers and their skills.
What has changed however, is the customer, – the patient. Patients became mobile and they are getting well informed through the internet. They decide about the therapy and they seek actively the best for them. The modern patient does not rely on the advice of “his” doctor, he decides for himselve and he strips of the ties created by the preservers of science, he doesn’t respect political borders, not regulations of his health insurance. As both travelling and implantology has become cheaper in relationship to the average income, much more patients can afford implants,- at least in foreign countries.
But all this is only a step in the right direction: implantology will ultimately reach to bottom of the pyramid,- the tremendously big market. On the way to this aim, conventional dental implantology will definitely loose the race. Those who live on the bottom of the pyramid cannot come to regular recall sessions. They cannot start lengthy and expensive bone buildup procedures: if these co-livers on the planet of ours have the dollar, they have and want to spend it, and they must get results right away.
Their common sense will decide for a treatment option, which offers:
• Implant treatment without any bone augmentation
• Implant treatment without any waiting periods
• Implant treatment without complex, multiple re-entry procedures
• Implant treatment for patients with critical general conditions and diseases
• Implant treatment for patients which have lost implants before (but not the hope for treatment)
• Implant treatment for smokers and drug-addicts
What once was a vision has become reality. More and more dentists in many countries have come to believe in the right way, finding the right treatment for their patients. The community of basal implantologists is growing and flourishing.
What is the difference?
The basal implantation technique can be summarized in five points:
• All patients who request the implants can be treated, without exception, regardless of the extent of bone loss or the presence of absence of residual teeth.
• Only a single surgical appointment is required. Basal implants are loaded and splinted immediately or early using long-term provisional bridges. In some cases it is possible to provide the definitive bridge immediately, in other cases the first bridge serves as a long-term temporary.
• The low number of surgical and other treatment steps reduces overall cost. Rapid and effective measures can be taken should complications occur.
• Basal implants hardly interfere with the blood supply to the host bone, at any rate much less than comparable conventional implants.
• Because basal implants can be immediately loaded, patients can quickly resume their normal lives.
Before the advent of basal implants, all patients with an insufficient on supply for immediate placement were forced to undergo the following extensive treatment.
• Removal of all teeth (if required); removal of all granulation tissue, cysts and other undesirable residue from the bone.
• Bone augmentation approximately 2 months later (with potential problems not unlikely to occur at the donor site), followed by a 3- 6-month waiting period
• Insertion of axial implants (screw implants)
• Finally, after another 3- 6 months, insertion of the bridge or other prosthetic superstructure.
In addition to this already tedious treatment plan, soft-tissue corrective measures frequency have often to be taken. Surgical risks accumulate throughout this four-step treatment phase: Despite all efforts and despite all the published claims, the clinical success of dental implantological treatments becomes unpredictable as soon as bone augmentation is required.
The conventional axial implant procedure created a paradoxical situation for most patients: For many months they were forced to do exactly what they were trying so hard to avoid, namely to wear a removable denture. And in many cases things were even worse: There were often times when not even the removable denture could be worn, specifically after the bone augmentation procedure and/or following the insertion of the implants, during the first phase of the waiting period.