In the past, the only solutions available to treat damaged or missing teeth were with a root canal treatment, dentures, or bridges. While these were effective to an extent, they each had their limitations – root canals sometimes (though rarely) required retreatment, bridges put a lot of strain on the healthy adjacent teeth, and dentures were unstable. A newer solution was dental implants near you.
Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gum line. Once they have completely fused into the jawbone, a replacement tooth (crown) can be mounted on top. Because the implant acts as a tooth root, it’s a much more stable tooth replacement than bridges or dentures. While it can be a more effective procedure, many people are hesitant to move forward with it. Here are a few common misconceptions that patients may have about dental implant surgery.
There is actually no pain associated with the procedure. Local anesthesia is used at the beginning of the treatment, and an experienced oral surgeon can be trusted to perform an operation that is comfortable for the patient. Other options for anesthesia may also be offered, depending on the patient’s preferences and sensitivities.
Dental implants now have an overall success rate of about 95% (and up to 98% with proper maintenance). Dental implant technology has advanced considerably since the procedure was first developed, and an experienced practitioner can perform the surgery without any complications.
The actual price tag that comes with implants may be higher than other solutions such as bridges or dentures, but they offer more in the long run. Not only do they perform better, but implants can be expected to last a lifetime, versus bridges that last a maximum of six to seven years. Taking this into account, repeated treatments of bridges or dentures can add up to more than the cost of dental implants.
The total healing time varies from patient to patient. It can take up to six months, but with a procedure called an immediate loading implant, it can be done in as little as one day.
Implants not only act like natural teeth, but they can be cared for like natural teeth as well. This means just daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental check-ups.
Implants actually look so natural that they won’t even be noticeable unless you point it out yourself. It does depend on the dentist who performs the procedure and the quality of materials used, but in most cases, the implant results in a natural-looking tooth.
Just as treatment from one doctor or hospital to the next will vary, a dental implant treatment will be different between dentists. When looking for a professional to treat you, be wary of prices that seem too good as they may be indicators of poor-quality components and implants. Be sure to do your research on prospective dentists, checking their credentials, ratings, and reviews.