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Debunking the Biggest Dental Implant Myths

Posted by Steven Lim Joseph Fields Jul 06, 2022

Although dental implants in Reno, NV, have become a go-to solution for tooth loss, countless patients still fall for pervasive myths surrounding this permanent restoration option. We’re here to help you make an informed decision by debunking some of the biggest misconceptions about them.

Dental Implants: Myths vs Facts

  • MYTH #1: “Dental implant surgery is extremely painful.”

Although dental implants require surgery, modern technology has come a long way in the last few years. Oral surgeons use new techniques that make this a minimally invasive procedure. Additionally, patients struggling with dental anxiety can opt for available forms of dental sedation, such as IV sedation, oral sedation, and nitrous oxide sedation, to ensure a pain-free and comfortable experience during their appointment.  

Moreover, the recovery period isn’t long and difficult. Most patients say getting a dental implant is more straightforward than having a tooth pulled. If tenderness occurs afterwards, patients can take over-the-counter pain medication. Dentists can also prescribe more potent painkillers if necessary.

  • MYTH #2: “They can only replace one tooth.”

Patients can use dental implants for single and multi-tooth restorations. While dental implants are an ideal choice for patients missing one tooth, other dental appliances such as implant-supported dentures allow them to replace several teeth while enjoying the benefits of dental implants. For example, implant-supported dentures offer more stability than other tooth-replacement options because they shift less than traditional removable dentures.

  • MYTH #3: “They don’t last long.”

Since every patient is different, there are no guarantees. However, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper maintenance. Patients who want to get the most out of their new teeth should brush at least twice a day, floss daily, use non-abrasive dental products, avoid smoking or drinking alcohol, and schedule regular dental visits.  

  • MYTH #4: “They’re purely cosmetic.”

Since dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth, patients with implants feel more confident about their smiles than those with dentures. However, it’s important to note that placing implants in your mouth promotes excellent oral and overall health by preventing further tooth loss, improving nutrition, stopping jawbone deterioration, and improving speech.

  • MYTH #5: “They’re still experimental.”

Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish physician and professor, conducted an experiment using a titanium implant in 1952. During his research, he discovered that the bone completely integrated with the implant. In 1965, Brånemark treated a patient named Gösta Larrson, who had no teeth in his lower jaw and had severe chin and jaw deformities. The carefully inserted titanium implants dramatically changed Larrson’s life, and they lasted for more than 40 years.

Since Larrson was the first person to receive titanium implants, the international scientific and medical communities acknowledged Brånemark as the Father of Modern Implantology. At present, dental professionals place around 450,000 dental implants per year, with an expectation of a 95% success rate and minimum risks or related complications.  

  • MYTH #6: “Everyone will know you have fake teeth.”

Since a dental implant is specifically designed to replace the roots of a missing tooth, it’s placed underneath the gum line. The dentist tops off the implant with a fixed restoration such as a crown or a bridge that matches and blends with the patient’s smile. They look so much like real teeth that no one will suspect you have dental implants unless you tell them.  

  • MYTH #7: “They make chewing or talking difficult.”

Dental implants don’t inhibit eating or speaking. Unlike other tooth-replacement options, a dental implant is the only one that’s modeled after natural teeth. For this reason, you can expect them to restore your chewing power, ability to speak clearly, and the confidence to live your life to the fullest.

  • MYTH #8: “Having dental implants means giving up your favorite foods.”

Be glad to know that dental implants don’t come with a long list of food restrictions. Thanks to their high-quality materials and unparalleled durability, chewy and sticky foods aren’t off the table. However, it’s still best to exercise caution while eating your favorite foods with dental implants, as you do with your natural teeth.

  • MYTH #9: “All dentists are qualified to place dental implants.”

While any dentist can offer dental implant surgery, not all of them can perform this service in their office. Contrary to what some people mistakenly believe, placing dental implants requires a high level of training, resources, and technology. Moreover, only trained implant providers are equipped to perform specialized treatments such as denture retention implants or Smileloc® by RODO.

  • MYTH #10: “Every patient is a suitable candidate for dental implant surgery.”

Dental implants are undoubtedly the best replacement teeth for many patients. However, not every patient is a good candidate for implants. Ideal candidates must have healthy gums, sufficient bone density, and good oral health and hygiene.  

In addition, they should be non-tobacco users because smoking or chewing tobacco prevents healing in the mouth and increases the risk of implant failure. It’s important to note that patients who suffer from bone loss in their jawbone may still get implants but will require another procedure to rebuild their bone and improve its quality first.

  • MYTH #11: “They’re extremely expensive.”

Since dental implants seem to come with a high price tag at first glance, some patients decide to opt for more affordable options. These people fail to consider that dental implants can last for decades with proper care. In other words, they won’t require replacements or frequent adjustment appointments.  

When you consider the overall cost instead of the initial cost, you’ll realize that the dental implant process offers the best return on investment. Moreover, you can ask your dentist about financing options so that you can spread the cost of treatment.

  • MYTH #12: “They’re only for seniors.”

No, dental implants aren’t just for older patients because statistics show that 69% of American adults between the ages of 35 and 44 are missing at least one tooth.  

  • MYTH #13: “They’re not worth it.”

Losing one or several teeth due to decay or damage can significantly impact your overall comfort, health, and self-esteem. Choosing to invest in dental implants gives you the opportunity to restore your smile and experience life with a deeper sense of freedom, self-confidence, and well-being.

Do You Want to Learn More About Dental Implants in Reno, NV?

At Smile Design Implant Center, our vision is to help our patients transform their lives and improve their health and quality of life. For this reason, we strive to be the premier practice in dental transformation through service and technology. If you’re looking to have a beautiful and confident smile, contact our office today to make an appointment.

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