Conventional prosthodontic approaches to treatment of tooth aplasia or tooth loss in adolescents have been shown to be inadequate for a number of reasons. Considering the current state of implant dentistry, it appears meaningful to improve these conventional treatment attempts by the use of implant-borne tooth restorations. Dr Watzek’s experience after treatment of more than 350 patients and an observation period of up to 15 years shows that single-tooth implants can still not be recommended during the growth phase. However, for extended spaces or extensive oligodontia, early implant placement allows normal development of the stomatognathic system, facilitates orthodontic treatment, and spares the patient the serious drawback of a mucosa-borne prosthesis. It may also help to avoid the need for extensive correction surgery at later stages. Implants can be successfully used at an early stage in the anterior mandibular region, while their use is limited in the posterior mandibular region. Extensive implant-borne restorations in the maxilla will invariably require implant correction by osteotomy or distraction osteogenesis once growth has slowed with advancing age.
Georg Watzek, MD, DDS, PhD, is head of the Dental School at the University of Vienna. He is president of the Austrian Society of Oral Surgery and Implantology and a former president of the European Association for Osseointegration. Dr Watzek is the author of more than 200 publications, including 7 textbooks. He is the author of Implants in Qualitatively Compromised Bone (Quintessence, 2007).
Approximate Running Time: 45 minutes