5 Myths and 5 Facts About Dental Implants in the USA
Learning the Truth About Dental Implants
If you’ve lost—or are about to lose—one or more teeth, you’ve likely heard that dental implants are the best tooth replacement option that modern dentistry has to offer. This unique solution involves replacing your missing tooth roots with titanium metal rods that are then topped with a dental prosthetic like a crown, bridge, or denture. Other than this, though, you might not know much about implants, which might cause you to turn to the internet for answers. After all, the internet is a powerful tool, providing access to a wealth of information you wouldn’t otherwise know.
Despite how incredibly useful it can be, there’s also misinformation online, and it can be hard to tell myth from fact. This is especially true of myths that once had a grain of truth to them or that had arisen from genuinely misunderstanding the details. Thankfully, you don’t have to sort through these details alone! Your dentist is here to help you through every part of the tooth-replacement process, including learning more about your treatment options. To help you do just that, we’ve put together a list of 5 myths about dental implants and the facts behind them.
Myth: The dental implant process is super complicated.
Fact: It’s just a two- to three-step process.
Getting dental implants can take months, and while this timetable can easily lead to the impression that it’s a complicated process, the truth is that it’s only a two to three-step process. That’s about as many steps as it can take to get a dental crown!
During your first appointment, your dentist places the titanium metal rods that act as your new tooth roots into your jaw. This is where a lot of the time involved with getting a dental implant comes in—healing. You need time to heal between each procedure, especially after the first, when it’s important for the jawbone to have time to grow around your new tooth roots, holding them firmly in place. It can take several months, but the long-term results are worth the wait!
The next step is placing the abutments, which are the metal pieces that will support your tooth restorations, onto your implants. Sometimes your dentist can do this during your first procedure, cutting down on treatment time. If it’s done as its own procedure, you’ll need to wait a few weeks for your gums to heal. Once the abutments are in place and you’re all healed up, you’re ready to come into our office for a final time to place your restoration and complete your beautifully restored smile!
Myth: Dental implants too often fail.
Fact: Dental implants have a phenomenal success rate.
There’s no other way to put it—dental implants truly do have a stunningly high success rate! One study found that implants had a 98.6% survival rate after five years and that over 99% of patients said that they were pleased with the results of their implant procedure. That’s an amazing success rate for any surgical procedure, and the better you take care of your implants, the better the odds are that they’ll be successful and remain that way for a lifetime!
Myth: Getting a dental implant is only about chewing.
Fact: It’s also about protecting your facial structure, speech, and self-confidence.
Implants quite literally go beneath the surface, replacing your tooth roots. This means that they do much more than simply restore your chewing power—though this is also an important benefit that they manage much better than other tooth-replacement options. By replacing your tooth roots, implants also carry out the same jobs, providing stability to your new teeth and stimulating your jawbone.
This last job is incredibly important because it keeps your jawbone strong and healthy and prevents the bone loss that otherwise goes along with tooth loss. This bone loss can change your face shape over time, making your jaw appear sunken. It’s this appearance that often makes denture-wearers so recognizable. By protecting your jawbone from resorption and keeping it healthy, the implants also maintain your facial features.
Additionally, since your teeth play a role in both speech and self-confidence, dental implants make a huge difference in these areas as well! You never have to worry about dental implants shifting while you’re trying to eat or speak, and they provide a solid surface for your tongue to push off of so that you can enunciate.
They feel completely natural, restoring the confidence you had in the function of your natural teeth before you lost them. Implants also look just as natural as they feel. Every aspect of their appearance, from their size and shape to their shade, is designed specifically for you and with your input to create a smile that you’ll love and feel truly confident sharing with the people around you!
Myth: Dental implants are rare.
Fact: They’re incredibly common.
Due to the versatility and the unique, lifelong benefits that implants offer, they’re actually incredibly common. About 3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants, and that number is only growing! In fact, it’s projected to grow by about 500,000 people each year. As people realize the truth about dental implants, including just how effective they are and how much better they are for long-term health, more and more people are choosing them over traditional dentures and bridges.
Myth: Dental implants are too expensive.
Fact: Dentures come with long-term costs that dental implants lack, and financing options are available to help.
While it’s true that dental implants are more expensive at the outset than other tooth-replacement options like dentures, it’s important to realize before you make a final decision that dentures come with their own long-term costs. Dentures can’t stop bone loss in your jaw and can actually speed it up, and this process changes the way your dentures fit over time.
As a result, dentists must evaluate traditional removable dentures every year to determine if they need to be adjusted so that they’ll continue to fit right. In addition to these frequent adjustments, the changes to the shape of your jaw as well as wear and tear on the dentures themselves mean that they need to be completely replaced every five to 10 years. This leads to continued, long-term costs throughout the life of your dentures.
Dental implants don’t have these long-term costs. Once you get them, they’ll never need to be replaced. The restoration on top of your dental implants may eventually need to be replaced due to wear and tear, but this happens less often. Your restoration will usually last about 15 years before you need to replace it, and then it’s a simple process because nothing needs to be done to the implants themselves.
Plus, if you’re thinking about getting dental implants but are worried about cost, there are many resources available to ensure that you can afford the care you need. Since it’s a surgical procedure, insurance usually covers at least part of the treatment cost, and most dental offices offer financing options and payment plans to help the remaining cost fit into your budget.
Interested in dental implants? Speak to your dentist.
We understand that when you’re first learning about your options to replace missing teeth, it can be hard to separate myth from fact. The more you learn the truth about dental implants, though, the easier it is to see why they’re so widely regarded as the best tooth-replacement option available. If you’d like to learn more about dental implants near Maryville, Missouri, we’re here to help! Feel free to schedule a consultation at any time.