Archeological evidence shows that prehistoric people may have used primitive dental implants. Confirmed records show their use since at least 600 AD. Yet modern dental implants date only to the 1970s, and they did not gain widespread popularity until the 1990s. Today, though, improved technology, falling prices, and an increased willingness by dental insurers to cover them have led dental implants to become the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. Still, there are many common misconceptions regarding dental implants. Here are the facts behind some common dental implants myths.
Dental Implants Are Only for the Wealthy
It is true that dental implants are pricier than dentures. However, they cost only a bit more than dental bridges, which require the adjacent healthy teeth to be shaved down. In addition, just a handful of dental implants can secure an entire arch of fixed or removable replacement teeth. Far more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing than dentures, this solution also minimizes jawbone loss, preserving your oral health.
When amortized over the long term, dental implants are actually the least expensive solution. Both bridges and dentures typically fail within 10 to 15 years, and dentures must be relined every year or two to account for bone loss. With proper care, dental implants can easily last a lifetime.
Dental Implants Are Only for the Healthy
It is true that an underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or a bleeding disorder can complicate any surgery. If your condition is well-controlled, though, there is generally no reason not to have dental implants placed. If you have gum disease or other oral health issues, those must be addressed before the surgery begins. In addition, if you suffer from severe jawbone loss, you may require bone grafting to support the dental implants. These conditions are common, and most people are soon able to have the procedure.
Having Dental Implants Placed Hurts
While some discomfort can be expected from any oral surgery, patients are often surprised to find that dental implant placement can be less uncomfortable than tooth extraction. Modern numbing techniques and surgical procedures, along with a compassionate and highly skilled dentist, can render the process virtually pain-free. Sedation dentistry is an option for those who are nervous about the surgery.
If you are prescribed painkillers, take them as directed even if you are not particularly hurting. This ensures that you do not suddenly get hit with a buildup of pain. Most people are back to work as normal in two or three days.
Dental Implants Tend to Fail
No medical procedure has a 100% success rate. However, the biocompatible titanium of dental implants is nearly impossible for the body to reject. A tiny percentage of dental implants fail to fuse with the jawbone, but this is extremely rare. Typical success rates are about 95%, while an experienced implant dentist with patients who precisely follow aftercare instructions can succeed a stunning 98% of the time.
Dental implants have become the treatment of choice for replacing missing teeth, and for good reason. A comfortable, aesthetic solution that can last a lifetime, dental implants are truly worth the investment.
Smile Shack is a leading dentist in Port Jefferson Station, NY. We pride ourselves on offering a full array of dental services, from cleanings to dental implants, and root canal treatment to Invisalign. If you are searching for a caring, trustworthy, and professional dentist, we invite you to call 631-928-7500 to make an appointment today.