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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Health Focus on Successful Dental Implants

Apr 27, 2012 09:53AM ● By Carey O’Rielly, DDS

Getting an implant is like having your missing tooth back.

Implants are made from titanium, a high noble metal with an excellent track record. Because its electrical field is very similar to the body’s, titanium has low immune reactivity and has been used successfully in joint replacements for many years. People often think zirconium might be preferable; however zirconium is also a metal and has been shown to be less dependable over time.

Generally there are four reasons people experience problems with implants:

  1.  Implants are technique sensitive and must always be done meticulously to avoid complications.
  2. Implant design and placement make a difference in how well implants heal as well as how easy they are to clean. A significant factor is whether implant placement is at bone level or extends above the bone. Any gap near the bone may promote an increase in bacteria and thus inflammation, leading to eventual bone loss.
  3. Galvanism is a stress reaction between dissimilar metals. Galvanic issues involving dental metals should also be evaluated and addressed before implant placement. This involves a simple procedure done with an FDA-approved device.
  4. Implants should be considered no different than real teeth and thus subject to the same dangers, including gum disease. Extensive evaluation should be done to reduce and hopefully eliminate high risk bacteria before implant treatment begins.


Dr. O’Rielly is a holistic dentist in Encinitas, CA. A USC graduate, he specializes in safe amalgam removal and comprehensive dental health care. He is giving back to his community by offering a discount on implant procedures through 2012.