Dispelling Misconceptions Surrounding Dental Implants

woman smiling outside

Many adults suffer from tooth loss due to injury, periodontal disease, or severe decay. Tooth loss isn’t just aesthetically displeasing; it can also cause problems with chewing certain foods and thus lead to nutritional deficits. Speech problems also frequently occur as a result of tooth loss. Finally, untreated tooth loss can lead to a loss of bone structure in the face, resulting in a sunken facial appearance. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available today when it comes to tooth loss. One of the most effective and popular cosmetic dentistry options– the dental implant– has a variety of benefits including its natural appearance, longevity, and functionality. Still, many people who suffer from tooth loss hesitate to consider implants, largely due to a series of misconceptions surrounding the treatment. Let’s consider– and then dispel– some of the most common myths regarding dental implants.

Placing the implant is severely painful. Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jaw bone. They are meant to serve as artificial tooth roots; the eventual replacement tooth is held in place by the implant. When potential patients hear the word surgery, many cringe in fear of the pain they believe is inevitable. While there is some discomfort involved in the procedure, every measure is taken to ensure patients aren’t in pain. Often, local anesthesia is sufficient to keep patients comfortable. In fact, many patients who have implants placed compare the discomfort level to that of a simple tooth extraction.

Dental implants commonly fall out. Some people suffering from tooth loss avoid getting dental implants due to the belief that they’re not sturdy and will eventually fall out. This is simply not the case. While dental implants can fail, failure is an extremely rare occurrence. In fact, dental implants are known for their durability and longevity. Unlike dentures, which need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, dental implants can last 25 years or more.

I could never afford dental implants. Because having dental implants placed is considered a cosmetic procedure, many insurance companies don’t fully cover the cost. Some offer partial coverage; others offer no coverage at all. Thus, many patients don’t look into implants as a potential option, reasoning that they could never afford the procedure anyway. While dental implants are more expensive than other restorative options– think dentures or bridges– they often prove to be a worthwhile investment. After all, when properly cared for, implants can last a lifetime. Bridges and dentures, on the other hand, typically have a maximum shelf life of 10 years.

Implants cause chronic headaches. Another widely perpetuated myth is that dental implants cause chronic headaches or migraines. More specifically, the titanium in the post that’s implanted in the jaw bone causes patients to suffer headaches. However, there’s no evidence supporting this claim. That’s not to say that chronic headaches or migraines are never caused by dental-related concerns, however. In fact, certain oral health concerns– like a misaligned jaw or temporomandibular disorders– have been linked to chronic headaches.

Maintaining dental implants is a grueling task. Caring for dental implants is no more difficult than caring for natural teeth. Patients only need to brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist for regular check-ups. Other restorative options for tooth loss– dentures in particular– require significantly more maintenance. For example, dentures require adhesives to hold them in place and special cleaners and brushes. Comparatively, implants are a breeze to care for.

Are you currently suffering from tooth loss? Are you ready to stop hiding your smile from the world? Let us help you achieve the healthy smile you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us today to learn more.

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