When someone’s trying to sell you something, chances are you’ll hear nothing but positives about it – all of its benefits, none of its drawbacks. After all, negatives might jeopardize the sale. Why risk losing it, right?
We all “know” the average salesperson probably won’t tell us the whole story about any product. So, wanting to be “smart shoppers,” we do our research. We read online reviews and discussions. We comparison shop. We ask others for their opinions. We become “informed consumers,” better prepared to make wise decisions.
Case in point : an article on implants we were recently alerted to.
Over 150 persons with various dentures, bridges and oral problems attended the oral health check up camp. Denty’s Dental Clinic Managing Director Shekar Chennupati explained the advantages of implants over dentures. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that a dentist places into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
Call it an “oral health check up camp” if you wish, but it sounds a whole lot more like a sales party for implants – a far bigger income generator than, say, an extraction and removeable partial ($1500-3000 per implant vs. less than $1000 for the latter). So it’s really no surprise that this “news” story tells us only how wonderful implants are, with not a word about their very real risks and drawbacks, which we’ve written about here several times before. (You can also read more about them on our office website here.)
Some of the risk is implied, though, in the statement that implants are “an ideal option for people in good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease….” If you are losing teeth because of gum disease, you are not in good oral health. It’s just as impossible as, say, being healthy and having the flu at the same time. If there is infection in the gums or bone already – from gum disease or otherwise – the body is much more apt to reject the implant, which means more costly dental work. Further, the implant creates another health burden on the body – even worse for those with chronic illnesses other than periodontal disease.
From the patient’s perspective, the main benefit of implants is a functional one: If they hold, they’re easier to care for and eat on than some other prosthetics. They feel more like natural teeth.
But at what a cost.
Image by DRosenbach, via Wikimedia Commons