A dental implant is a procedure where modern dentistry has been able to predictably and aesthetically replace missing teeth, fill in gaps and create better chewing function for patients of all ages. Some people are still not sure that dental implants are right for them. Here are some myths about dental implants that may prevent you from having the smile of your dreams.
1. Dental implants are way too expensive
If the initial cost of a dental implant steers you away from the process you must think of this as a long term investment. The alternatives to dental implants can be a bridge or denture that may not be as expensive but the costs for their replacements add up over a life time. Implants will last you longer than the alternatives and cost less in the long run.
2. Dental implants look fake
This is simply not true. Implants are by far the most natural looking tooth replacement available. With the advance in colour selection of porcelain and careful lab process no one will know you have a dental implant. There is nothing that resemble enamel more than dental porcelain.
3. Dental implants are too high maintenance
Again not true. Dental implants require the exact same care as your natural teeth. Daily brushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentists will help maintain your implants and teeth for a lifetime. However, if you have not taken good care of your natural teeth then you will need to improve your home care to be able to keep them for life. Unlike teeth, you cannot get a cavity on an implant but you can get periodontal disease.
4. The surgery for dental implants isn’t safe
When consulting with your surgeon there are extensive measure to make sure you are the right candidate for the surgery. Dental implant procedures have a 95% success rate. Advancement in dental implant technology has made the process easier and more comfortable in order to maximize the outcome and minimize the pain.
5. Dental implants are for everyone
Unfortunately not everyone can get an implant and have great success. Some medical conditions lower the success for an ideal outcome. As well there are some dental conditions that may determine you unfit for dental implants. Each case would need to be examined carefully by your surgeon. If possible dental conditions can be improved to increase the success of the dental implant. These improvements can include fixing dental cavities and getting rid of infection of the bone and the gum before you start on your dental implant journey.
6. I’m too young for dental implants
This is partially true. Implants are generally not performed for anyone younger than 18 years old since the bone and jaw may still be developing. Seniors have the most to benefit from implants since they probably are struggling with ill fitting dentures and really are in the prime time of their lives where they need be able to chew with no discomfort and ease. Of course the younger population will get the most life from the implant.
7. You can’t eat normal food with implants
Again not true. You will find yourself chewing normal after a very short adjustment period. If you have been missing teeth for a long time you will be surprised at how you have managed without teeth for so long. Only after the surgery will there be diet restriction. Enjoy those foods that you have not even imagined you could.
8. The procedure is difficult and painful
The dental implant procedure is more complicated than getting fitted for dentures or a bridge but much simpler then getting a tooth extracted. Like any dental procedure you will have the choice to be sedated or simply have local anesthetic depending on your comfort level. It is a simple day surgery where routine daily activity can resume shortly after. There is a healing process of 4-6 months where the implant fuses (integrates) to your bone however this does not interfere with you ability to function or chew as before.
9. Dental implants always fall out
This is very very uncommon. Total neglect by the patient could result in periodontal issues and implant loss but I have witnessed that even trauma to the implant cannot break the bond between bone and implant easily. It seems to be the implant crown is usually the issue and may become loose while the implant itself remains intact. When this happens it simply is a matter of tightening the 2 components. Maintenance is key.