Q: I recently changed dentists and when the new doctor looked at my X-rays, he made, what I feel, was a negative comment on how my four dental implants that are supporting a huge upper permanent bridge were not all parallel to each other. I felt he was implying they were “crooked” or “out of whack”. Is this an issue?
A: Man, I don’t know what it is about dentists, especially in the South, when it comes to bad-mouthing other dentists’ work. When I practiced in Manhattan, probably the most competitive business environment on Earth, I don’t remember this being an issue at all.
What other industries bad mouth each other? Does the cupcake maker criticize the frosting of the guy down the block? “His red velvet tastes like plastic!” Did Dr. Jung pick on the methods of Dr. Freud? “Hey Sigmund, why is everything about sex, sex, sex! Get a life!”
Don’t let a doctor pick on your implants just because they are not all lined up like a bunch of dominos. A recent article in the Journal or Oral Implantology states: “The engineering school of thought asserts that a tripodal placement may be best to resist occlusal loading.”
Allow me to man-splain: to best combat strong chewing forces on your permanent bridges, it is actually better that the implants are placed at different angles like a tri-pod, to prevent detrimental side-to-side forces on the implants and supporting bone. The author, Dr. Dennis Flanagan, surmises: “Thus, if a dental implant dentist is criticized for nonparallel implant placement, the response should be that of an adherent of the engineering school of thought.”