In the days of dental implants, why should we be keeping teeth?

Michelle Strange, MSDH, RDH, stresses the importance of patient education and prevention when considering treatment modalities to save teeth.



Teeth have multiple purposes. Aside from biting and chewing food, they improve quality of life, particularly as they play an important role in speaking and smiling. When disease occurs, a common prognosis by clinicians is to remove the offending teeth and replace them with implants. With most other organs in the body, preservation is the goal. However, teeth are more likely to be extracted without consideration of alternative methods to retain them, when, in fact, multiple options are available for preventing disease and saving teeth.


Reports concur that despite the ability to save teeth through improved periodontal therapy and evidence supporting the fact that maintenance is preferable to replacement, there has still been an increase in extractions and a coinciding proliferation in the use of implants.


When is intervention needed?