Dental implants are one of the easiest and most effective replacements for missing teeth. Unfortunately, they’re also commonly misunderstood. Many eligible candidates who would benefit tremendously from implants neglect to get them due to incorrect information about how they work.
Here’s a closer look at common myths regarding dental implants, including the real facts you’ll want to know so you can make an informed decision.
The most common misconception regarding dental implants is how they look. Many people mistakenly believe they have a fake appearance that’s easy to recognize. Truthfully, you’ve probably seen many people with dental implants — and you weren’t even aware of it.
Dental implants are made from ceramic materials to closely resemble the size, shape, and color of the patient’s existing teeth. They’re not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Instead, each implant is carefully constructed to fit flawlessly into your existing smile.
Many people avoid dental implants because they falsely believe the benefits are only superficial. They want to avoid the perceived hassle and expense of a procedure that doesn’t affect their health.
Unfortunately, even a single missing tooth increases your risk of developing a variety of dental problems. Missing teeth create space in your mouth for bacteria to thrive, where it can spread to your existing teeth, leading to cavities and other dental issues. Additionally, missing teeth impact a person’s ability to chew and even talk properly.
Finally, cosmetic issues are more important than many people realize. Missing teeth can massively impact a person’s self-confidence. Using dental implants to repair your smile increases your ability to talk and interact with others both personally and professionally.
Many people avoid dental implants because they’re afraid the procedure is painful and invasive. However, for most patients, the surgery is straightforward and easy. Typically, only a local anesthetic is needed, although you might also get a sedative if you’re nervous about the procedure.
The procedure is a three-step process:
- 1. A small incision is made into your gums, where the implant is then attached to your jaw.
- 2. A post, usually made of titanium, is attached to the implant. Typically, the implant and post are both placed simultaneously, although two separate procedures are necessary in some cases.
- 3. Once the post is securely in place underneath the gum line, the artificial tooth is then screwed in place.
The surgery usually only takes a few hours. After surgery, your mouth might feel sensitive for a day or two, but then you should have no problems eating or drinking normally. Over-the-counter pain medication is often all that’s necessary for pain management during the healing process.
Although most dental implant procedures only take one day, the entire process typically requires several dental appointments. You’ll need to meet with your dentist for an initial consultation, x-rays, and follow-up appointments.
Myth #4: Dental Implants are Difficult to Care for
Once installed, dental implants don’t require any special care. Instead, simply brush and floss your teeth as normal. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day either in the morning or night.
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. They have a success rate between 95% and 98%. For most people, implants are no different than real teeth.
For most people, dental implants are the most cost-effective solution over time. Leaving gaps in your smile significantly increases your likelihood of developing additional dental problems, which can wind up costing more than the implants.
Although the upfront cost might be higher than you’d like, ultimately, implants can help save you from costly dental bills down the road. Plus, replacing missing teeth right away usually results in an easier and less expensive installation process.
Don’t let misconceptions and myths about dental implants keep you from a full, healthy smile. Implants can look and feel just like real teeth. Plus, installation is typically an easy process with minimal recovery time.
With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Arnold is Atlanta’s top choice for dental implants. To learn more about how implants can help improve your dental health, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today. A new, beautiful smile can be yours!