Portale Dental May 2019

portale post

May 2019

Truth in Advertising

A phrase with two common words that have opposite meanings is called an oxymoron. Think about phrases like jumbo shrimp, pretty ugly, original copy, government worker, and lead balloon. These are often used tongue-in-cheek and with no ill intent. But there is another phrase that has caught my attention: “Teeth in a Day.” This is a new marketing slogan in some dental promotions I’ve recently seen. However, in my opinion, “Teeth in a Day” seems deceptive, because it gives patients an inaccurate picture of treatment. Madison Avenue has reached a new low in the advertising world of dentistry with these new copyrighted slogans. This phrase and others, such as “All on 4,” is often used to imply that you can replace one or more teeth with a new implant supported procedure in one day. This salesmanship is misleading, and, in my opinion, even dangerous to some. All dental implants require time to heal into the jaw bone. Everyone knows that if you break a leg, you wear a cast for 4–6 weeks to allow bone healing. It’s just common sense. Nothing is different with dental implants; they need time to osseointegrate (heal). During the healing process, you’ll need temporary teeth to wear, so that’s the first misleading image. And, this idea is not new: We learned a lot performing this procedure back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. First, the idea that the teeth can be “fixed” to the implants is dangerous. We learned that attaching teeth to a grouping of implants using screws makes proper daily cleaning virtually impossible. Because this approach makes both brushing and flossing such monumental challenges, the risk of infection increases significantly. Surface gum infections around the implant lead to gum and bone loss and eventually implant failure. Sure, you can visit the dentist and have the teeth removed for cleaning every 3 months as an additional expensive procedure. But that’s like taking a shower every 3 months! Not a good answer for longevity, or friendships.

the surgery, and the final teeth require time in the chair to fit and function properly. Madison Avenue just tells you what you want to hear, and that’s all. The call of instant gratification is a powerful marketing tool. So, to tell the truth — the whole truth — implants do work great. I have placed thousands of them. A single tooth can be fixed with a screw or cement because you can clean and floss around it easily. However, larger bridges or over-dentures need to be “snapped” into place, not “screwed.” This allows them to be removed daily for cleaning, so they can last trouble-free.

The end result is sweet breath along with a sweet smile — and there is nothing oxymoronic about that!

– Dr. Portale

Secondly, like fine wine, good dentistry takes time. Temporary teeth in a day are possible, sure, but you need to prepare before




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