Q: I have several fractured dental implants that were done back in the early 80’s which were done by one of the initial developers of dental implants in Manhattan. I need them remove and replaced. Is this possible? Is this dangerous; and how is it done?
A: I can’t tell you how many patients over my 30 year career have told me that their dentist in New York either “invented the dental implant” or was the “first to bring it over from Sweden.” (I always think of the “bringing of King Kong over” from Skull Island.) When I ask what the doctor’s name is, I usually get: “Shapiro”. Firstly, there is a Dr. Shapiro on every corner in New York City. Secondly, He did not invent the dental implant. And finally, Shapiro is not a Swedish name.
How Failed or Fractured Dental Implants Are Removed
One day I hope a patient of mine will tell a doctor: “My dentist was the first to have a live call-in radio show called Tooth Talk in the early nineties and the first to have an “Ask the Dentist” column in the newspaper.” I have thought of some inventions too: edible cotton rolls, and filet minion flavored toothpaste. No takers.
If the top of the dental implant is intact, we use a very specialized surgical kit that removes most brands of implants called: The Biomet 3i Dental Implant Removal Kit. Double ended, reverse threaded screws (nipples, in pluming terms.) are inserted to the dental implant, followed by a torque wrench that reverses out the failed dental implant.
If the top of the dental implant is gone, contains a broken screw or the dental implant cannot be backed out, a trephine drill, resembling a cylindrical cookie cutter, is used to remove bone around the dental implant allowing the fixture to dislodge. Try to avoid this method as it removes a lot of bone needed to place a new dental implant.
I will return to my lab and work on my next invention: candy floss.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.