PCEC members informed about dental implants


Master of Ceremonies “Hawaii” Bob Sutterfield welcomed everyone to the Sunday October 17 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club at the Tavern by the Sea Restaurant. After the usual opening announcements, he called on Dr. Tanit Kiatpanabhikul, D.D.S., from Bangkok Hospital Pattaya (BHP). Dr. Tanit specializes in prosthodontics, which is about dental implants and cosmetic dentistry.

Dr Tanit introduces PCEC members to a number of procedures available to restore decayed, discolored or missing teeth.

Dr. Tanit asked the question, what is the quality of life?  His answer was the degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of his or her life. Dr. Tanit pointed out that a person can experience many dental problems, such as gum disease, tooth wear, and oral lesions. They could also have an imperfect smile because of flaws such as gaps between their teeth.  He presented several pictures showing the effect of these dental problems and said that correcting these problems can improve the quality of a person’s life. He then described past dental practices such as dentures, bridges, and crowns noting that each had their disadvantages. However, he said the state of the art is tooth implants which are stronger, more long lasting, look more natural, and unlike the previous practices, there is no subsequent decay.

Dr. Tanit proceeded to give a very interesting visual presentation as he explained what an implant is and why it is beneficial.  He said that an implant can take two to three months to complete depending on bone density of the patient.  He explained that in essence, the doctor makes an incision in the gums to reveal the bone; then with a small drill he cuts a hole in the bone being careful of its positioning. Once done, another drill is used to expand the hole. He emphasized that there is no pain in this procedure. The implant is placed into the hole and a screw is inserted into the implant. It is then covered with a membrane and sutured. The patient then must wait for the bone to grow onto the surface of the implant.

During this waiting period, a crown is made to the desired shape and color so that it looks like a natural tooth. The crown has an attached base that is designed to fit into the drilled hole. When the bone has adequately grown around the implant, the crown is inserted. This process takes 2 to 3 months depending on the bone density of the patient.

The benefits to using implants, Dr. Tanit said, are: (1) no need to grind the teeth down for a bridge or crown, thus it is a more conservative approach; (2) appearance will look more like a natural tooth; (3) stronger mastication (chewing) as the implant is stronger.

Martin, Asian representative for the Straumann group, answers a question regarding the procedure and timeline for inserting an implant.

He mentioned there are two types of implants, one all ceramic and the other porcelain fused to metal. He said he prefers to use ceramic in the front as they look better and the porcelain for back teeth as it is a bit stronger and that is where most people do their chewing.

Dr. Tanit concluded by noting that at BHP, they prefer to use Straumann implants as they are considered the best. They are made in Switzerland and are available in most countries. He said that since implants do not require the approval of any government regulatory agency, there are many cheaper ones available. However, there is no assurance as to their quality.

After Dr. Tanit’s presentation, a representative for Straumann gave a brief talk about the company.

There was a lot of interest from the audience as evidenced by the questions asked after the presentation. Nat from BHP mentioned that a special voucher for those in attendance was being handed out, which provided a 10% discount on implants.

“Hawaii” Bob then called on the Club’s Internet guru Richard Silverberg to present his latest website “find,” which was AIS 1-2-Call’s website https://12calleservice. ais.co.th/EPPWeb/index. html. Richard described how it worked and how you make changes in your 1-2-Call calling plan, transfer call time and money to another number, and send out multiple SMS text messages among other things.

The meeting concluded with “Hawaii” Bob bringing everyone up to date on upcoming general and Club events. He then called on Les Edmonds to conduct the always informative and sometimes humorous Open Forum, where questions about living in Thailand and Pattaya in particular are asked and answered.