Journey into Ceramic Implants
Last winter I had the privilege of attending the International Academy of Ceramic Implants annual meeting. The meeting was held in a suburb of Miami Florida. Several of the excellent speakers were from Europe. They have been working with ceramic implants for much longer in Europe than in the US. I learned the most from a German dentist who spoke about his simplified ceramic implant concept as well as his experience on the effects of metals and infections on the human body. At the end of his presentation he invited any of us to come and shadow him at his clinic while he does the procedures. What a great opportunity! Since my early years in dentistry I have focused on learning from the best and whenever possible, experience hands on learning and observation. An early mentor, George Eversal, taught me that what a doctor says in a lecture versus what they actually do in practice is often different. These are nuances that if overlooked can result in a completely different result.
I contacted the German dentist and he welcomed me to come and shadow him. My wife and sister had been planning a dream trip to Europe in May of last year. I discovered that the first meeting of the European Ceramic Implant Congress was to be held the week after our vacation. I decided to shadow and then attend the Congress. Perfect timing!
Years ago I had all of mercury based fillings and gold restorations removed. I also had a root canal tooth removed. I experienced a tremendous healing response from having this done. I had a really nice all porcelain bridge on my front teeth to replace a missing tooth. Unfortunately the bridge anchor fractured off at the gum line. However, this was a perfect situation for two ceramic implants. Using ceramic implants I could replace the missing tooth and the fractured tooth. The Dentist in Europe lectured us on his technique of immediate ceramic implants at the winter meeting I attended. When I told him of my situation he offered to do my treatment as part of a live demonstration at the Implant Congress. Now my visit was really set.
I spent a day observing his techniques at the Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland. I met a patient who this dentist had treated and whom by her acknowledgement was on death’s doorstep. She was so ill that she could not walk 10 feet. After her first visit within days her health rapidly improved. She attended this event with friends and she was able to fully participate. He shared with me that frequently his patient’s health improves when they have the treatment done utilizing his protocols. I was able to observe his treatment of four different patients receiving ceramic implants.
Next it was my turn. During the morning lectures I received an IV infusion of a high dose vitamin C, additional vitamins and homeopathic remedies. The purpose of this is to help prevent infection and promotes a speedy recovery. Prior to the surgery he advised me to have my Vitamin d level checked and make sure it is above 70 ml. I was also instructed to take Vitamin K 2, Vitamin C and Magnesium. These were already part of my daily routine.
After lunch I was escorted to a surgical suite where the treatment would be completed and a live video was streamed for the doctors. Local anesthetic was all that was needed. Everything was in German so I went into a meditative state during it. It was a success. I felt no pain during the procedure. That evening they had a social for all of the participants. I was able to attend and needed no pain medication. I have had temporary crowns on the implants which will soon be coming off and replaced by all ceramic crowns. We are just introducing immediate ceramic implants in the United States. This was such a great learning experience to observe and witness his protocol first hand.
During the two day Congress many different expert physicians and doctors spoke on the reasons why they use or recommend ceramic implants over the more common titanium implants used in dentistry in the U.S. Ceramic implants are more bio-compatible, and are hypoallergenic. They are not prone to gum infections. It is estimated that 35-60 % of titanium implants develop peri-implantitis (gum infection).
Ceramic implants are also more aesthetic and do not develop electro galvanism when in an oral cavity with other metals.
In our future blog posts I will share more of the information that I receive from these European doctors and dentists. Richard Stickney D.D.S., P.S.