The best and worst thing about the internet age is that we have instant access to a vast sea of knowledge about virtually any topic. Unfortunately, the information we find online is not always reliable or correct. When it comes to dental implants, there are a lot of myths floating around the internet, which means many patients come to our office with misconceptions about the procedure.
Myth: Getting Dental Implants Is Painful
Have you heard that getting dental implants is a painful process? Or maybe you’ve seen illustrations of dental implant screws in the jawbone and assumed it must be painful to have them placed? Just like any other oral surgery procedure, there’s no need to worry about the pain involved in dental implant placement because your mouth is thoroughly numbed to ensure that your procedure is pain-free.
Pain-free doesn’t mean free of discomfort, of course—having to keep your mouth open while your dentist works is not exactly fun! If you need help relaxing, we can offer safe forms of sedation to keep you calm while we work. After your dental implants are placed and you leave our office, you’ll have some tenderness at the implant site once the local anesthesia wears off, but this is typically mild and can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medications and cold compresses.
Myth: Dental Implants Look Fake
There are a number of different restorations that can be attached to dental implants—crowns, bridges, and dentures made from a wide variety of materials. When you choose to work with a prosthodontist for your dental implants, you can be assured that you’ll get a restoration that looks natural and blends in perfectly with the rest of your smile; prosthodontists are the experts when it comes to creating realistic restorations. While it’s true that some people have restorations that don’t fit their facial proportions, these patients likely chose a cheaper, cookie-cutter option.
Myth: Dental Implants Have Long-Term Health Consequences
Many people worry that dental implants will have a negative impact on their health, causing chronic inflammation, migraines, and other serious long-term health issues. In the decades that dental implants have been widely used, no evidence has emerged to demonstrate that they have any negative effect on patients’ health; in fact, the opposite is true! Dental implants prevent jawbone loss and all of the issues associated with it.
Like any oral surgery, there are some health risks in getting dental implants, including infection, nerve damage (which is usually brief), and injury to the surrounding structures.
Myth: Dental Implants Are Overpriced
Dental implants are expensive, but that doesn’t mean they’re overpriced—there’s simply a lot more involved in getting dental implants than there is in getting a bridge or denture. Traditional bridges and dentures replace only the visible portion of missing teeth, but dental implants also replace the roots. Getting dental implants is a surgical procedure, while bridges and dentures don’t usually require oral surgery.
Although you’ll need to pay more for dental implants, it’s also important to note that over the years, your implants may end up being about the same in cost as replacing your missing teeth with a traditional bridge or denture. Dental implants usually never need replacement, and the restorations that attach to them need less frequent replacement than traditional restorations because they have more stability. In addition, by preserving your jawbone, you’re less likely to need dental and periodontal procedures related to bone loss if you get dental implants.