Tooth decay, infection, or other damage to a tooth can result in losing the tooth completely. Dental implants are titanium rods surgically inserted into the jawbone so that an artificial tooth can be secured on top. This provides a permanent and functional restoration. There are some myths about dental implants that have come up over the years, causing some patients to hesitate in choosing this way to replace missing teeth. Dispelling such myths can allow patients to experience the benefits of this dental restoration.
1. Process – It is a myth that the process of getting dental implants is long and extremely painful. Sedation dentistry is usually employed, including inhaled nitrous oxide and also local anesthesia. Pain medication is prescribed for the recovery period. Patients should not feel any stage of the process, which typically includes extracting the tooth, opening the gum, and placing the implant.
2. Bone density – Another myth is that patients without enough natural bone cannot ever get dental implants. It is possible for those with insufficient bone strength to become candidates for implants. First, the dentist will X-ray the jaw bone area and test the strength of the bone in the targeted implant spot. If there is not sufficient natural bone, a bone graft may be performed to strengthen that area. A period of rest and healing will be required between getting the implant and attaching the artificial tooth, but eventually the restoration can be completed with the potential for success.
3. Durability – It is false that dental implants will not remain in position, or that the artificial teeth will fail and make it impossible to have a complete restoration. If a licensed and qualified dentist does the work using FDA approved materials, implants should not fail without significant jaw deterioration or trauma to the jaw. Even if injury or bone loss occurs, it is possible to have implants redone if there is enough bone or a bone graft is performed.