If you’re missing a few teeth, your dentist may recommend dental implants to restore your smile. The word “implant” might make you shudder, but rest assured that dental implants are thoroughly researched and understood. They also have the highest success rate (98 percent) of any implanted surgical device.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are effective replacements for patients with deteriorating natural teeth. The metal implant screws act as tooth roots, providing a strong foundation for crowns that are designed and custom crafted to match the patient’s natural teeth.
Compared to dentures, dental implants are more durable and convenient because they eliminate the need for nightly removal and the use of messy adhesives.
Even with all these benefits, patients are still understandably nervous to get dental implants. This fear is due in large part to misinformation and widespread myths which have little – if any – supporting evidence.
Myth #1: Dental Implants Are Incredibly Painful
Fact: While some discomfort is to be expected following a major dental procedure, it should be manageable. In fact, many patients report feeling better than expected after surgery. Most patients return to work and normal activities by the next day!
Any resulting discomfort can be treated with painkillers, such as ibuprofen. To prevent aggravating your mouth, only eat soft foods for 10 to 14 days following the surgery. Gentle rinsing with warm salt water can soothe the tissues and offer additional relief while keeping your mouth clean.
Myth #2: The Procedure Is Very Expensive
Fact: Because dental implants last a lifetime, they are priced favorably compared to other tooth replacement options. While flippers, dentures and fixed bridges have lower upfront costs, patients will likely pay more in the long term for maintenance or replacement.
Additionally, no two patients need the same type or duration of treatment, which impacts total cost. Someone who needs only a few teeth replaced will spend far less than someone who requires a full mouth restoration.
Myth #3: Everyone Can Get Them
Fact: In general, anyone who is healthy enough to undergo a dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered a candidate for dental implants. Patients must also have healthy gums and an adequate amount of jawbone to ensure the implant will hold. Excellent oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits are also recommended for potential implant patients.
Some people may not be good candidates for implants. These include:
Those who aren’t prepared to follow their surgeon’s post-op instructions
People who severely grind or clench their teeth
People who take certain medicines that suppress the immune system
Those with uncontrolled chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hemophilia
These patients will need to be evaluated on an individual basis to determine whether they are healthy enough for the procedure.
Myth #4: Implants Can Cause Migraines
Some people experience migraines after receiving a titanium dental implant and attribute the migraines to the implant. However, there isn’t any clinical evidence to support this claim. Many people who experience this discomfort may be dealing with a TMJ disorder due to surgical complications, especially if they have been treated by an unqualified surgeon.
Myth #5: Any Dentist Can Perform the Procedure
The number of advertisements for dental implant surgery may lead consumers to believe that anyone can perform this surgery when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. The American Dental Association (ADA) exclusively recognizes oral and maxillofacial surgeons as proper providers of dental implants because of their extensive surgical training and education.
Dental Implants in Louisville, KY
If you’re missing one or more teeth, contact the qualified surgeons at Greater Louisville Oral & Maxillofacial. Our professional team will work closely with you to determine which dental implant solution will best enhance your smile. For more information about our services, contact us online or schedule your preliminary consultation by calling (502) 459-8012 today!
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How to Ensure a Successful Dental Implant Experience