If you’re missing any natural teeth and looking for the best way to replace them, dental implants are your top choice. But even though the dental implant procedure has been streamlined over the last two decades, there are still many myths about dental implants and the procedure involved. Here are 10 common misconceptions about implant treatment and the truth behind them.
1. You Can’t Afford Dental Implants
The biggest of all myths about dental implants is that they’re too expensive, and you can’t afford them. But truth be told, the dental implant process offers the best return on investment. No other tooth replacement can last as long as implants do. Dental implants are a one-time investment that saves you money over time. Plus, you can finance them!
2. Dental Implant Surgery is Painful
Not so. Although there are more complex and rare cases, the average dental implant process can be completed with local anesthesia (numbing medication.) That being said, some people prefer nitrous oxide or deeper sedation during their oral surgery. It is not painful, nor is the recovery difficult. Most people say it’s easier than having a tooth pulled.
3. It’s Easier to Get Dentures
If you’ve experienced tooth loss, wearing a bulky denture is difficult to adjust to. It can rub your gums and cause discomfort when you’re speaking. But implants and implant bridges feel more lifelike compared to dentures. Plus, you won’t have to worry about pain or shrinking in your jawbone, which is common after getting dentures. The implants help prolong the overall structure of your mouth, face, and existing tooth alignment.
4. Dental Implants Aren’t Covered by Insurance
Years ago, dental insurance companies didn’t cover dental implants or implant-supported dentures. Even though they were better for the overall health of the patients, the insurance companies were slow to adopt implant procedures as a standard treatment for tooth replacement. So, they were labeled as more of an elective or cosmetic treatment.
Today, dental implants are integral for full mouth reconstruction. They’re regarded as the best solution for replacing missing teeth. Fortunately, dental insurance companies have taken note and now cover at least part of the implant procedure. Our office today can work closely with carriers to maximize insurance coverage for most patients, reducing how much they pay out of pocket.
5. Implants are Cosmetic
While implants help patients feel more confident about their smile, one of the most common dental implant myths is that they’re a cosmetic treatment. Not so. Just like bridges or crowns, dental implants are a restorative procedure that strengthens and helps reinforce your smile. They also look good while they do it!
6. I Don’t Qualify for Implant Treatment
Some people’s only option is to get the type of dentures or implants that their dentist offers. But if your dentist doesn’t have experience in more advanced dental care or implant-supported prosthetics, or the person needs a bone graft, the patient may be informed that they don’t qualify for implant treatment. In reality, that’s just not the case. What you need to do is schedule your appointment with a skilled implant provider with a history of treating a diverse array of patients.
Even if people aren’t good candidates for some types of implants, they may be for others. Getting a second opinion with a more experienced dentist is the best way to find out what options are available. Some dentist offices are equipped with state-of-the-art technology like 3D imaging that ensures a successful implant procedure, even for someone with extensive bone loss.
7. Only People with All of Their Teeth Missing Can Get Dental Implants
Sure, people with complete tooth loss (who we call fully edentulous) make great dental implant candidates. But people with only one or two missing teeth can also get dental implants placed in those locations. Implants work well for single and multi-tooth restorations, allowing you to replace as few or many teeth as you need to.
Dental implants are non-invasive to natural teeth, so placing them in your mouth is extremely healthy and beneficial to your entire smile. They help limit bone loss (reducing the need for a bone graft) and help reinforce the tooth on either side of them. You could essentially say that they’re better for your oral health than a bridge because implants won’t alter the tooth enamel of the teeth next to it.
8. Dental Implants Look Like Fake Teeth
Dental implants aren’t like removable, bulky dentures. Their design is the most like natural teeth of any modern tooth replacement treatment. Each implant is topped off with a fixed restoration, such as a crown or bridge that’s matched and shaped to blend in with your surrounding teeth. They look more like natural teeth than any other modern prosthesis. Truth be told, most dental implants are impossible to differentiate from your adjacent teeth when you’re smiling or talking.
9. It’s Hard to Eat or Talk with Dental Implants
The success rate of dental implants is extremely high. In fact, implants are the only tooth replacement that’s modeled after natural teeth. When you bite, chew, speak, or smile, you’re replacing missing teeth with something that looks and feels as great as natural teeth do. Since implants are shaped like a normal tooth, they don’t inhibit eating or speaking, giving you the confidence you can depend on to live life to the fullest.
10. Every Dentist Offers Dental Implant Surgery
Placing dental implants requires a high level of training, technology, and resources. Although any dentist can offer implants, not all of them choose to perform this service in their office. Especially if you need more specialized implant treatment, such as graftless or zygomatic implants, or if you’re getting implant-supported dentures. Even services like “All-on-4” or “All-on-6” are only offered by certain trained implant providers. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in one office, it’s best to consider talking to another dentist for an opinion.
Implant Consultations in Leawood, KS
Gordon Dental is a comprehensive dental practice near Kansas City offering a wide variety of dental implant procedures. Do you have missing teeth? Enjoy a lifelong solution with durable dental implants! Call today for a no-obligation evaluation.