Dental Implants have been around for a while now and personally I have placed thousands of implants and am gratified with successful results. During consultations, I repeatedly hear similar questions and myths associated with Dental implants and later patients return after their procedure surprised by their misconceptions. I thought it would be helpful to try to demystify many of these myths to clarify the implant process.
1st Myth: Look and feel – Reality: It is not Painful
Dental Implants look very similar to your original teeth and placement of most implants is far less painful than an extraction. Generally, they are undetectable by others unless you tell someone which is the implant. Chances are high that it goes unnoticed and you won’t feel awkward having space in your mouth. They fuse to the bone similar to a tooth root and become like permanent teeth. They don’t require messy adhesives like dentures. Many avoid dental implants because they believe they are painful. In reality, most patients are amazed at the simplicity of the procedure and report it was easier than they imagined. Anesthesia or nitrous oxide is administered to counter the minimal pain during the surgery. Overall, the biggest myth is that dental implants are painful. To know more, click here.
2nd Myth: All dentists can place them with equal success – Reality: There are Specialists in Dental Implant placement.
There are specialists who undergo extensive training in surgery, anatomy, and dentistry that are highly qualified to place implants at a higher success rate (a dentist is different from an oral surgeon). Their difference in profession mainly lies in their educational backgrounds and in the procedures they perform. This myth is partially true as it is legal for any dentist with a valid license to place a dental implant. Research has shown there is a difference in success and complication rates. It depends on the professional’s training and experience in dental implantology that leads to higher success rates.
3rd Myth: Its costs can kill you – Reality: There is long-term savings.
Compared to its contemporaries like dental bridges and removable dentures, dental implants have the upper hand in terms of durability as they normally last longer than either substitute treatment. Hence, a dental implant is cheaper than a bridge due to their longer lifespan.
4th Myth: Implants need to be replaced – Reality Implants are a long-term solution.
For a patient with new dental implants, the healing time can be around 2 to 6 months which varies from patient to patient. This time to ‘heal’ is required for the implants to form a strong bond with the surrounding bone structure unlike dentures which is shorter but they never fix to your teeth. Due to this fusion between the bone structure and dental implant in your mouth, your implant is normally a long-term solution. I hesitate to tell patients they are permanent since grinding and smoking can cause long-term failures, however, with proper care they can last indefinitely. Many people worry about special care for their dental implants, but in actuality, these implants should be treated like any other normal tooth with regular brushing and flossing. You can eat what you want, chew gum, and know that your implant is likely the strongest tooth in your mouth.
I hope this article has dispelled any concerns you had about dental implants. We place implants daily in our office and patients are so happy with the value and security that this treatment brings to their smile.