Myths About Dental Implants
Tooth loss is surprisingly widespread. In fact, by age 50, Americans have lost an average of 12 teeth. So why don’t we see a bunch of people walking around with gaps in their smiles?
It’s all thanks to the wonderful world of modern dentistry. There are several effective tooth replacement options for people to choose from, but the one that looks and functions the most like natural teeth is dental implants.
However, people aren’t as aware of dental implants as they are of other options, such as crowns, bridges, and dentures. Let’s clear up a few of the erroneous expectations floating around so you have a better understanding of what dental implants can do for you.
Expectation #1: Dental implants are rare.
Reality: About 3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants. This number is projected to grow by about 500,000 per year. More people are turning toward implants over the traditional dentures, crowns, and bridges to replace their missing teeth.
Why? People are seeing them as a better long-term tooth replacement option. Once implants are inserted, the titanium root fuses to the jawbone, creating a bond very similar to the patient’s natural tooth roots. Once this process has had a chance to heal, a crown is mounted on top of the implant.
At this point, with proper dental hygiene and care, the implant will stay firmly rooted in the patient’s mouth for the rest of their life. Dentures and other options have to be redone as they wear down or as the fit changes over time.
Expectation #2: Dental implants are too expensive.
Reality: At first glance, dental implants can seem more expensive than other tooth replacement options. However, when compared over the long term, dental implants often end up being cheaper.
As we just mentioned, dental implants can last the rest of the patient’s life without needing to be redone. Other methods have to be redone or refitted perhaps a few times depending on the length of the patient’s life. This costs both time and money to have the procedures done all over again. Once an implant has been successfully placed, the patient generally never has to worry about it again.
On top of that, there are various methods that can help patients cover the cost of their implants. First, they may be able to take out a loan. Some dental offices directly offer financing to cover this important procedure.
In some cases, the patient’s insurance may cover a portion of the expense. People think that insurance won’t cover cosmetic procedures, and while implants do improve the look of your smile, they are not strictly cosmetic. They also support the structure of your face and help maintain overall oral health.
Finally, many dentist offices offer payment plans to spread the cost of the procedure out over a few months.
Expectation #3: The dental implant process is super complicated.
Reality: When people first hear about the implant restoration process, it can sound complicated. Some patients may need bone grafting to prepare the site, everyone will require the implant surgery, and several months later, everyone will have to come back to mount the crown.
On paper, it sounds like a lot, but in reality, it is only a two- to three-step process. Sometimes bone grafts can be done at the same time as the implant surgery, and many people don’t require bone grafts at all. The implant surgery is generally quick, and mounting the crown is often even quicker.
Expectations #4: A dental implant is only about chewing.
Reality: While it’s true that dental implants provide a stronger bite and more chewing power, that isn’t all they do. Missing teeth cause problems in many ways, such as inhibiting one’s ability to speak properly and potentially affecting one’s self-confidence. Many people don’t like walking around with gaps in their smile.
Additionally, without teeth to support the jawbone, the patient may experience bone loss over time. This can be severe enough to affect their facial structure and features.
Dental implants make all those problems go away. The process can even stimulate bone growth in patients who have already experienced bone loss. Plus, because they look and feel like natural teeth, speaking, eating, kissing, and everything else is exactly the same as it was before.
Interested in getting an implant?
We hope this article has helped answer some of your questions about dental implant restorations. If you have any more questions or are looking for comfortable and caring dental health professionals in Greensboro, NC, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We understand that living life with missing teeth isn’t ideal for your sense of style or your oral health. We’re happy to help in any way we can.