Age no bar for implants in modern scenario – Dr. SPS Tulsi

Photo – Anil Jaiswal

Lucknow: As an implantologist, Dr. SPS Tulsi who heads the Department of Dental and Maxilofacial Unit at the Sahara Hospital has had a ringside view of the evolution of Implantology. In a freewheeling chat with The Lucknow Tribune he speaks on the changing face of Implants, the lack of awareness in patients about oral health and why he thinks Dental Insurance courtesy the government could help streamline Dental Treatment for countless Indians.

As a word of caution, Dr Tulsi says – Precaution is better than cure. Talking of dentistry, dental treatment is often ignored and taken for granted. It is also a big fact that it is not considered a priority in India. The mouth is the mirror to most of the diseases of the body. Maximum of the diseases are manifested from the mouth. Ignorance towards mouth leads to systemic diseases.

“It is always advisable that in a six month period one dental checkup is mandatory. We often take the health of the milk teeth lightly, but it is equally important. Permanent teeth starts from the age of 6 – 7 years. If milk teeth is good, it has a direct bearing on the health of the permanent teeth,” adds Dr. Tulsi.

The top implantologist talking of the genesis of implants said, “Talking of implants, these were initially introduced for geriatric patients who lose all teeth. Providing fixed teeth. With research now age is no bar for implants. Now a person can go in for implants at any age. The implant size, shape, measurement and diameter is decided by the dentists as per the bone.”

Allaying fears, Dr Tulsi said, “In the modern day and age with technology to the disposal, the procedure of implants are a walking procedure. A patient can go back in few hours without admission.  Implants today are made in a manner that the fixed tooth is not supported by an adjacent tooth.”

So is the mouth root to all disease if neglected, he agrees; “The implant acts as the root of the tooth. In case of an isolated implant supported teeth  there is no dependency on adjacent teeth. There is consensus on the fact that there should be no compromise on tooth health. From the biological perspective, the mouth has bacteria which traves to the heart and other vital organs which can further lead to major disease. Oral health and hygiene keeps you healthy. Good dental care be it implants or maxillofacial treatment is quite widely practiced in the city and the scope of such health treatment is quite high. The city boasts of many good facilities who have helped treat a wide number of patients.”

Talking next generation care, he adds – With the evolution of better techniques and technology, along with conventional implants now there is also widespread scope for basal implants. These are special cases which need immediate attention when the jaw bones are compromised. Most common occurrence being post cancer surgery.

“In Sahara hospital, Maxilofacial treatment is its USP. The success rate of the procedure is quite good. To be precise in this case the procedure apart from procedure what is more important is the selection of the patient,” he underscores.

Summing up, Dr. Tulsi says – My observation is that if there is something majorly lacking in the system, it is proper awareness about dental health. Sadly 90% of cases come to the doctor when there is acute pain or a missing tooth. In the usual course there are health checkups, normal checkups but dental checkups do not happen, which is an irony. Part of the problem also lies in the fact that there is no Dental Insurance. Firstly regular dental checkups must be promoted. The government on its part should work towards making dental insurance a reality.

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