There’s so much misinformation about dental implants. Most of the information out there is conflicting. When trying to figure out if dental implants are the right choice or solution for tooth loss, patients — you! — often have a mental image based more on assumptions than facts.
Most people think that dental implants are for the elderly, confusing dentures for implants. Or they simply think it’s too painful or uncomfortable and they’ll be in for a world of recurring headaches when they choose this option.
However, these little ‘myths’ demand dispelling because we’ve seen, firsthand, how this misinformation affects patients’ willingness to be open to the right option for them.
So today, we’re taking on the most popular myths about dental implants and offering you the truth about what you’re likely to experience instead.
Dental Implants Look ‘Fake’
Dental implants are designed to fit the natural shape and smile of your mouth. Some people say they can see a metal base fused to a dental crown, made of porcelain.
However, dental implants actually look very seamless and are not noticeable at all. Contrary to popular belief, dental implants don’t use any metal near the gum line — rather they use translucent porcelain, which makes them look completely natural and undetectable.
Dental Implants Can Be Uncomfortable
Because the structure of your teeth is intricately linked with nerve endings directly related to your eyes and head, any sensation or ‘pain’ from dental procedures can be felt intensely. In fact, avoiding that pain is why most people skip considering dental implants.
They feel that their eating and sleeping routines will be affected with this constant throbbing of pain from their implants but, the truth is, most procedures use local anesthesia and nitrous oxide to reduce this discomfort and pain.
While some soreness is inevitable, our patients report that this very minor discomfort diminishes over time and goes away in the first few weeks.
Another oddly sustaining myth related to discomfort is that the titanium used in dental implants causes headaches or migraines. However, while this may be experienced in the first few weeks as your mouth adjusts, it’s not directly related to the titanium.
Sometimes, it’s a case of a misaligned bit, known as ‘TMJ’, which could cause headaches after an implantation procedure. However, a good cosmetic dentist will help you identify and resolve the cause of your headaches if you report them and they’re directly related to your implants.
Dental Implants Are High-Maintenance
Again, this is related to people’s perceived and associated mental images about dentures, rather than facts about dental implants. Patients often end up thinking about the fact that elderly individuals using dentures have to remove them, soak them, clean them and apply them every morning.
Not so with implants.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons report that 95% of dental implants occur successfully and that any that ‘fall out’ or loosen can be addressed by your dentist. This 95% success rate is because implants are sealed under the crown of the tooth. You can chew gum, bite into an apple and drink hot liquids just the same.
This means they’re in there pretty permanently and simply require the same kind of routine, care and attention as your regular teeth. There’s zero removal, no extra cleaning and a decreased chance of infection because of this.
They Can Be a Very Expensive Investment
Often, our patients are concerned that the cost of dental implants is prohibitive. But they should be considered a long-term investment in the health of your teeth. In fact, when compared to the dental bridge, the implant lasts much longer. Bridges only last about 7-12 years before they’ll need to be replaced. Implants last up to 15 years and longer with the right care and routine check-ups.
The Recovery Time Is Long and Painful
Two to six months: that’s how long you should expect your healing time to take when it comes to your implants bonding well and rooting the bond to the bone for a truly solid and immovable adhesion.
However, it’s a road, not a flip-switch. With each month that goes by, a patient’s implants will become stronger and more permanent. The amount of care you’ll need to take will reduce overtime.
It’s important to note that not every dentist can place a dental implant because not all may have the necessary surgical training or experience in the procedure for implantation.
Trained clinicians and dental professionals at Hawthorn East Dental have spent a number of years steeped within the practice of forming, advising and working with custom-fitted dental implants. Contact our team today to find out more about how dental implants could be the perfect solution for a restored and rejuvenated smile.