Breaking Down Myths: Debunking Common Misconceptions About Dental Implants

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two dental implants and a dental crown on white surface

Dental implants are a groundbreaking solution for tooth replacement. These artificial tooth roots have significantly transformed the landscape of modern dentistry. However, despite their proven success and numerous advantages, widespread myths and misconceptions surround dental implants. As a result, some patients have enduring concerns about this procedure.

The best cure for uncertainty is knowledge. So, if you’re on the fence about tooth implants, it’s time to talk to a professional. Call Lakewood Dental Group in Dallas, TX, at (214) 827-1885 to get honest and accurate information now.

Today, we aim to debunk common misconceptions about dental implants. Here, we empower you with detailed information so that you can make the best choice for your smile and future.

Myth 1: Implants Are Painful

Many patients hear “dental implant surgery” and believe that the procedure will be a painful or traumatizing experience. However, advancements in dental technology and anesthesia have made the process considerably more comfortable than many might imagine.

However, while the surgery is virtually pain-free, the recovery process may not be as comfortable. Indeed, the next few days following dental implant surgery can produce mild to moderate discomfort. Luckily, over-the-counter pain medications are usually enough to temper pain and provide lasting relief.

Perhaps the best way to gauge the relative pain of a procedure is through a collection of first-hand accounts. This 2021 study indicates that research participants perceived higher levels of pain within the first day after implant surgery, but the perceived pain dropped very quickly afterward. Simply put – moderate to severe pain after implant surgery typically lasts for only 24 hours.

Myth 2: Dental Implants Are Only for the Elderly

Contrary to this belief, dental implants are a versatile solution suitable for individuals of all ages who have lost one or more teeth. In fact, opting for dental implants at a younger age can have distinct advantages. The prompt replacement of a missing tooth contributes to the overall health of the oral cavity, preventing the deterioration of the jawbone. 

While age is not usually a determining factor for implant candidacy, jawbone maturity is. This means that patients with still-developing jaws may not be ideal candidates. Instead, they may have to wait until their jaws have stopped growing before seeking dental implants. However, most patients’ jaws are mature and stable around the age of 21.

Myth 3: Teeth Implants Are Expensive and Unaffordable

The misconception that dental implants are mega-expensive often deters individuals from considering this transformative treatment. 

But, we won’t lie – the initial cost of dental implants may appear higher than alternative solutions (like dentures or bridges). However, their upfront costs may end up being much lower than the prolonged costs of bridges and removable dentures.

Dentures and bridges will need frequent adjustments, repairs, and replacements throughout a patient’s lifetime. Dental implants, however, are designed to be a permanent and durable solution requiring little to no adjustments, repairs, or replacements for decades (even a lifetime!). 

Myth 4: Implants Look Unnatural

Concerns about the aesthetic outcome of dental implants are a common misconception that can influence individuals’ decisions about pursuing this treatment. The reality is that dental implant technology has evolved significantly, enabling the creation of prosthetics that closely mimic the appearance of natural teeth.

The customization of dental implant restorations plays a crucial role in achieving a natural and aesthetically pleasing result. Dentists meticulously crafted these restorations to match the color, shape, and size of the surrounding natural teeth. The end result is a seamless integration that is often indistinguishable from the patient’s original teeth.

Myth 5: Dental Implants Require Excessive Maintenance

Some individuals hesitate to pursue dental implants due to the misconception that they demand a high level of maintenance. In actuality, the care routine for dental implants closely mirrors that of natural teeth—regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups are often all these artificial tooth roots need for long-term success.

Unlike removable tooth replacement solutions (like dentures), patients don’t have to conduct specialized care or worry about buying additional products to maintain their implants. This means that patients with dental implants can save themselves more time and money compared to patients with dentures or bridges.

Myth 6: Tooth Implants Can Cause Health Issues

There is a myth that dental implants can lead to systemic health issues. However, this belief often stems from other types of failed implants, such as breast implants

Dental implants, however, are a well-established and safe dental procedure with a high success rate. Experts largely attribute this to the materials used in dental implants, most commonly titanium or zirconia. These materials are remarkably biocompatible, meaning they are well-tolerated by the body and usually do not pose health risks.

Please note – patients with a metal allergy or sensitivity should discuss their condition with their dentist or oral surgeon before getting implant surgery. While titanium is well-tolerated by most patients, it is worth discussing potential side effects with your healthcare professional. In most cases, patients with metal sensitivities can try exploring zirconia implants, which very rarely trigger an adverse reaction. 

Myth 7: Implantation Is a Lengthy Process

We won’t lie – there is significant planning that goes into dental implant surgery. However, modern dental technology (like 3D imaging and guidance software) can significantly reduce the amount of preparation, planning, and procedure time it takes to insert implants.

This means that patients and their dentists can often plan and place dental implants all within one week. The recovery process, however, cannot be rushed

So, even though patients can get tooth implants relatively quickly, they will still have to wait months for the implant to heal. This healing period is very important, as it is crucial to the implant’s success. During the healing period, the bone surrounding the implant slowly begins to grow back, fusing with the implant permanently. This contributes to the implant’s sturdiness and success. 

It’s true – patients may have to wait months for their implants to heal, but they do not have to worry about constant dental appointments. This makes the implant process more of a waiting game and less of a chore. Patients simply have to wait for their bodies to do what they do naturally!

Are dental implants right for you? Find out now!

While dental implants are a great solution for most patients with tooth loss, our dentists in Dallas, TX, can offer personalized information based on your individual oral health needs. Schedule your dental implant evaluation at Lakewood Dental Group online, or call our team today at (214) 827-1885.