Although oral hygiene and dental care are always improving, there are still many reasons why people lose teeth. Tooth loss can be caused by impact injuries, tooth decay, or periodontal disease, among other factors.
Whatever the underlying cause, dental implants are one popular and effective option that can help restore your smile.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are the closest we can get to replacing the function and appearance of a natural tooth. An implant is an artificial tooth root made from titanium that bonds securely to your jawbone. This root provides a solid foundation for a replacement tooth that looks and acts just like a natural tooth. With dental implants, you can continue living your life the way that you want. You can eat your favorite foods, smile, and kiss without worrying about your teeth.
Even though implants have a lot to offer compared to the alternatives, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. You should have the best information before making an important decision about your dental health.
Myth 1: Dental implants are too expensive
Implants can be expensive when compared to the alternatives, such as dental bridges and dentures. However, it is important to look at the full picture rather than focusing exclusively on cost. Although implants cost more, they last much longer and provide far better quality compared to the alternatives.
Dentures require replacement about every five years, and dental bridges last about 7-15 years. Comparatively, dental implants usually last 15 years or longer. With proper maintenance, they can even last a lifetime.
Myth 2: They won’t look like my real teeth
Dental implants look completely natural and blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. When the implant is constructed, your dentist will match the color and shape of the implant to your surrounding teeth.
However, porcelain implants are resistant to staining. So if your teeth become stained over time and change color, you may begin to notice a difference. Having the rest of your teeth whitened will restore the color match.
Myth 3: Dental implants are painful
Dental implants do require oral surgery. However, the process is minimally invasive and most patients only need a local anesthetic. You might feel some pressure during the surgery, but you won’t feel any pain. The entire process only takes around an hour, and you can expect a full recovery within a few days.
Following your surgery, the titanium implant will take around 3-6 months to fully bond with the surrounding jaw and gum. During this time, there is usually no pain or discomfort, and you can continue living your life normally. Any mild soreness can be easily addressed with over-the-counter pain relief such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.
Myth 4: Implants are difficult to care for
Implants require about the same level of care as real teeth. Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day, and flossing at least once a day, to maintain the health and longevity of your implants.
Around 3 million people in the United States have dental implants, and that number is growing rapidly. Patients are choosing implants over alternative treatments because implants give you the freedom to continue living life the way that you want to.