You can complain all you want about the Internet and cell phones and how we as a species are slowly losing touch with each other. But the simple fact of the matter is this: technological improvements have made our lives better. And each successive improvement makes our lives successively better.
Take dental implants, for example. Thousands of years ago, most people dealt with tooth loss the same way they dealt with anything — they accepted it and moved on. Even so, some ancient skeletons have been unearthed with pieces of shell, bamboo, or even animal teeth hammered into the gumline, in an obvious attempt to replace missing teeth.
George Washington’s wooden teeth (mythical or otherwise) are another famous benchmark in historical battle against missing teeth. Improvements continued, through adhesive-bound dentures and all their accompanying shortcomings (slippage, soaking, adjustments, soreness, etc). Until we find ourselves in what is, arguably, the Golden Age of teeth replacement — the age of computer guided dental implants.
Implants themselves are a revolutionary concept: rather than simply placing a row of teeth on top of bare gums, to shift and slip without the use of gooey adhesive, those same teeth are instead affixed to titanium posts implanted into the jawbone itself. The bone heals around the implant, and the dentures (or even individual teeth) are attached to the top of the implant, creating the absolute closest thing to real-looking and -functioning teeth that science can develop.
But computer guided dental implants take the implantation process to the next level. Some areas of the jawbone may not be strong enough to support an implant (at least not without complicated bone grafting and reshaping). But by visualizing the jawbone in a three-dimensional computer representation, dental surgeons can pinpoint the best sites to accept implants, reducing not only the overall procedure time, but also dramatically reducing the healing time required, due to the increased accuracy and precision of placement (which equals less adjustment and wasted drilling).
While computer guided dental implants cost more than traditionally installed implants, the speed, efficiency, and minimal invasiveness of the process is well worth the money to the hundreds of thousands of patients who’ve had the treatment. Ask your dentist if you might be a good candidate, and take advantage of the very pinnacle of scientific, technological, and medical advancement. More like this blog.