Dental implants are a unique solution for replacing missing teeth because they’re the only option that can prevent or even reverse the loss of bone in the jaw. This is because implants replace not only the visible portion of a tooth, but the root as well. The result is a stronger bite and protection from facial collapse, which is why so many patients choose implants over bridges and dentures.
Despite the benefits of dental implants, there are many myths about them floating around the internet. Below, we’ll address four of the most common misconceptions about dental implants and separate fact from fiction.
Myth: Getting Dental Implants Is a Painful Process That Takes Years to Complete
It’s true that some patients do require a year or more to complete their treatment. When this amount of time is needed, it’s often because the patient was starting with insufficient bone density to support implants and grafting is required. Standard dental implants may take a few months from start to finish, but keep in mind that they are a permanent solution for missing teeth––you’ll put in more time upfront, but you won’t have to go back to the dentist every few years for new dentures or bridges. With mini dental implants and all-on-four implants, the time required for the procedure can be greatly reduced.
As far as pain goes, patients may have discomfort during and after their surgery, but rarely pain. We numb the area where we’re working with local anesthesia, and in some cases we may use sedation to keep you relaxed or allow you to sleep through your procedure. In the days afterwards, you may have swelling and soreness, but this can be resolved with over-the-counter pain relievers. We do everything we can to ensure your comfort throughout the process.
Myth: Dental Implants Are Dangerous
If you’re researching dental implants, you’ve probably come across some horror stories about dental implant failure. These stories are not untrue and it’s hard not to be scared by them, but keep in mind that 98 percent of dental implants are successful. For the 2 percent that fail, the reasons often come down to inexperienced dentists or patients who shouldn’t have been candidates for the procedure in the first place.
Dental implants have been used for decades, with the first titanium implants being placed in 1965. If they were unsafe or if there were long-term health implications, we would know it by now.
Myth: Dental Implants Are Too Expensive
Some patients have a perception that dental implants are overpriced; while it’s true that they’re expensive, they’re expensive for a reason. Dental implants require several office visits, sometimes with multiple specialists, impressions and imaging, one or more surgeries, anesthesia, and custom-made replacement teeth. There’s simply more involved in the process than there is with getting dentures or bridges. To compound the issue, dental implants are rarely covered by insurance, so the expense can feel much steeper when it’s paid out-of-pocket.
Myth: Dental Implants Look Fake
With a skilled provider, you’ll never have to worry about your dental implants looking fake. Dental implants look no less real than the two other options for replacing missing teeth, dentures and bridges; indeed, dental implants are the most natural replacement for missing teeth because they’re the only solution that replicates both the appearance and function of real teeth.