For those suffering from tooth loss, dental implants are quickly becoming the preferred way of restoring both a glamorous smile and previous functionality. Numerous advances in dental technology have helped make this procedure safer and more effective for patients. However, many people have expressed reservations about dental implants, thanks largely to the following myths and misconceptions.
The Placement Process Causes Plenty of Pain and Discomfort
One of the biggest concerns patients have with dental implants is expectation of pain and discomfort. The fear of a painful experience is often what keeps people out of the dentist's office, even when they need dental care most. Fortunately, dental implant placement isn't as painful as one would think.
Although there may be some slight discomfort at times, the dental implant procedure is relatively pain-free. Your dentist will use a general or local anesthesia (depending on your personal preference and/or your dentist's recommendation) to minimize the pain during the procedure, making it as bearable as any other dental procedure. If you're concerned about anxiety, you can also ask to be sedated throughout the procedure.
There's a High Risk of Rejection Involved
Another concern involves the possibility of the body rejecting an installed dental implant. Once installed, dental implants rely on osseointegration – a process where bone cells attach themselves directly to a material – to lock the implants in place.
While there is a risk of rejection, that risk is extraordinarily low. In fact, dental implants have an average success rate of 98 percent, making them one of the most reliable dental procedures available.
The key to this success rate involves the use of titanium and zirconium, two materials that are biocompatible with the human body. Biocompatibility involves a wide variety of ideal traits for materials commonly used in dentistry and other medical fields:
- Ability to remain inert while within the body
- Resistance to bodily fluids
- Compatibility with bone growth
- Ability to remain strong and flexible during use
The use of biocompatible materials and best practices during the procedure ensures that you won't have any problems from your dental implants.
Mini Dental Implants Are an Affordable Alternative to Traditional Implants
It's easy to see why mini dental implants seem like an affordable alternative to a set of traditional dental implants. Mini dental implants go for $500 to $1500 per implant, whereas a full upper and lower set of traditional implants cost an average of $34,000. However, there's a good reason why mini dental implants seem so cheap.
Mini dental implants are actually used as transitional implants that help prepare the bone for your permanent set of dental implants. These implants were never intended to be used on a permanent basis and if they are, there's a good chance that they may fracture or even fallout after an extended period of time.
There's an Age Limit to Dental Implant Treatment
Many patients mistakenly believe that their age may disqualify them from being ideal dental implant candidates. However, this is far from the truth. It's not unusual to see patients in their 80s and 90s rejuvenating their smile with a new set of dental implants.
You don't have to be in perfect health to receive dental implants, either. Most dentists are able to accommodate and circumvent a wide variety of treated and controllable health issues. However, certain issues such as uncontrolled diabetes and active gum disease may pose unique issues that must be mitigated prior to dental implant treatment.
People Can Tell If You Have Dental Implants
Dental implants are specifically designed to closely mimic the appearance of genuine teeth, making it extraordinarily difficult for people to tell the difference. In fact, it's likely that you'll never encounter anyone who can immediately tell that you have dental implants.