The first evidence of dental implants dates to at least 600 AD, though some archeological records show that they may have been used even in prehistoric times. Modern dental implants have been in use since the 1970s, but they have only been widely known since the 1990s. As the technology continues to improve, prices continue to fall, and insurance companies become more willing to cover them, dental implants have become a gold standard choice for replacing missing teeth. Yet there is a great deal of misinformation. Here is the truth behind 5 common myths about dental implants.
1. Dental Implants Are Expensive
It is true that in the short term, dental implants are pricier than certain other solutions, such as partial or full dentures. However, they are only slightly costlier than bridges, which sacrifice healthy tooth structure and can set off a chain reaction of future dental problems. In people who are missing all or most of their teeth, a few well-placed dental implants can anchor fixed full-arch replacements, getting rid of the dentures for good. This is beneficial not only for cosmetics and comfort, but also for future oral health, as the implants take over some of the function of natural tooth roots, minimizing long-term bone degradation and loss.
In the long run, dental implants are actually much less expensive than dentures or bridges, due to their vastly increased life span. While dentures need to be refitted every year or so, and replaced as bone loss progresses, and bridges tend to fail after 10 to 15 years, dental implants can easily last a lifetime. Amortizing the cost over your life expectancy clearly shows the long-term financial advantages of dental implants.
2. Dental Implants Are Painful
It is true that dental implant placement is oral surgery, which can result in some pain and discomfort. However, dental implant surgery is generally no worse, and in some cases much easier, than tooth extraction. Modern numbing techniques and surgical procedures make the procedure relatively simple for a trained and skilled dentist. In addition, sedation dentistry options can ensure that you are deeply relaxed and pain-free throughout your appointment.
Depending on your individual health history and needs, you might be prescribed painkillers for the first few days following your implant surgery. Most people are back to work as normal within a day or two.
3. Dental Implants Often Fail
Dental implants are made of biocompatible titanium, so failure due to rejection is virtually impossible. However, a very small percentage of dental implants do fail to osseointegrate with the jawbone. Across the board, the success rate for dental implants is approximately 95 percent, and a skilled implant dentist with patients who scrupulously follow instructions can achieve a success rate of 98 percent. Smoking increases the risk of dental implant failure.
4. Dental Implants Are Only for Those in Perfect Health
It is true that you need enough healthy bone to support dental implants. However, the vast majority of people who have experienced jawbone loss can achieve the needed amount of bone with bone grafting. Underlying medical conditions such as bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, and diabetes can make dental implant surgery more complicated, but they do not typically preclude implant placement if they are well controlled. Of course, if you have active gum disease or other oral health conditions, they must be treated before implants are placed.
5. Dental Implants Should Be Bought Solely on Price
If you have shopped around for dental implants, you are probably aware of the vast range of prices offered by different dentists. While price definitely does not equal quality, and plenty of sub-par dentists charge premium prices for implants, be on the lookout for prices that are a lot lower than the average for your region, which could indicate a lack of skill or experience.
Choose a dentist who has advanced training and plenty of experience with placing dental implants. While the procedure is not inherently difficult, it is exacting, and it must be customized to the structure of each patient’s mouth. Properly placed dental implants can last a lifetime, so it only makes sense to choose a dentist that you can trust.
Conveniently located in Woodbury, MN, Creekview Dental provides a progressive yet conservative approach to dental care. Our innovative, highly personalized procedures are focused on maintaining tooth structure and providing you with the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve. Call us today at 651-738-8204 to take the first steps on the road to better dental health.