As clinicians, we would often find patients with very poor oral health. They had residual dentition which had been damaged by periodontal disease or decay lesions and which could no longer fulfil their functional and aesthetics requirements.
Before dental implants existed, fixed prosthetic solutions relied on natural abutments (provided that they were healthy enough). Now, clinicians and patients have to make their treatment decisions while taking both teeth and implants into consideration. The clinicians’ goal is to improve the quality of life of their patients. With this in mind, decision making is a complex process, and there are many circumstances which need to be taken into account.
“Decision making is a complex process”
When facing a new case, clinicians have to answer the following questions: when are implants better than teeth? Should all teeth be extracted or are there still some which could be used as abutments? Is it possible to use a combined approach utilising both teeth and implants?