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The price you pay

A patient was referred to me by his dentist as he was suffering from ‘peri-implantitis’. This is a potentially serious problem which affects some dental implants causing bone loss around the implants. In advanced cases, this may result in the failure and loss of the dental implant and supporting tooth/ teeth.

When I consulted this patient I found that he had 5 failing dental implants in his mouth. Peri-implantitis may develop in a small number patients due to poor gum health or other bacterial or systemic issues affecting the mouth. In this case however, the cause for the patient’s failing dental implants was due to poor treatment from the outset.

These implants were placed in the patient’s mouth 10 years ago at a clinic in Poland. From my assessment it appears that the treatment had not been performed to the high levels we would expect.

The situation is extremely disappointing for the patient due to the investment and faith he had put into the dentist and clinic that provided him with this treatment. In order to treat this patient’s problems, we must remove his current implants and start again to address all of the problems developing in his mouth. This is frustrating for both the patient and myself.

It is very disappointing for us to see the standards of advanced dental care drop to such low levels. I feel this is unacceptable in a profession where a patient’s health is placed in your hands.

A highly skilled treatment involving advanced dental care such as dental implants must be performed by skilled professionals using the latest materials and techniques. This clearly comes at a cost and sometimes the pursuit for a cheaper option in these scenarios results in a service where the treatment has been compromised. In this particular case, both the skill of the dentist and the quality of the implant work was well below acceptable standards.

Investing in high quality treatment from the outset will, in most cases, save you problems in the future.

Mohsin Patel BDS MJDF RCS (Eng)

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