In recent years, we’ve been witnessing more and more people who want to enhance their looks using cosmetic dentistry. But the truth is that dental implants do more than make you look better: they make prosthetic teeth more permanent and more like natural teeth by anchoring them right into your jaw just like natural teeth do. Nevertheless, quite a number of people are wary about jumping into the dental implant bandwagon because of several myths associated with it.
Because of this, people interested in getting dental implant should be aware of the truths as well as lies associated with dental implant surgery. After all, the days of jumping the gun are long gone thanks to the Internet. At present time, people can learn more about and plan for something like dental implants before actually trying it out.
The Myths Surrounding Dental Implant Services
Myth #1: Dental Implants Are Only for Old People: Well, this is a myth in multiple ways. For example, senior citizens who are so old they’ve lost all their teeth and can’t undergo major surgery anymore without it becoming life-threatening will have to settle for the stereotypical detachable set of teeth they have to put inside a glass of water for hygiene purposes whenever they’re sleeping. Sometimes, the older you get the less likely you’ll get dental implants depending on how old you are!
Dental implant treatment typically involves cutting through the gums and screwing into the tooth socket where your extracted or missing tooth used to be a dental implant or titanium anchor that the dentist can use to plug into your jaw a crown or a dental bridge, thus giving your false teeth or dentures a more natural feel to them since they’re now attached to your jaw.
Secondly, it’s a fact that your jawbone is already fully developed by the time you’re 20 years of age or so. Therefore, you’re already a good candidate for dental implants if you’re in your twenties, although your dentist might disqualify you for various other reasons other than age. So it’s much truer to say that if you’re under 20 years old, then you’re probably disqualified with getting dental implant services due to having an underdeveloped jaw.
As a young person, your milk teeth haven’t fallen off as of yet either plus you’re still growing so it’s actually discouraged that you get implants as a youth. You want a fully-grown jaw that won’t end up growing any further before jumping the wild frontier of dental implant surgery. As long as you’re healthy overall and you’re a young adult with a fully developed jaw, then you can consider getting dental implants at any age above 20 years old or so.
You should also have bones and gums that are in good shape. If you have periodontitis or gingivitis issues, they should be resolved first before getting an implant. There are even those who get dental implant surgery even if they lack bone density and even gums in their jaw and tooth socket. They usually compensate through the process known as bone grafting, but that also makes the procedure much more expensive than before.
Myth #2: Dental Implant Surgery Is a Painful Procedure: People who are anti-implant cite how it’s a painful procedure whether you’re in the middle of it or you’re dealing with its aftermath. Nevertheless, this is false. This is as false as people insisting that root canal therapy is pure suffering. This hasn’t been true since the Turn of the Millennium or even before that. Modern dentists have mastered the art of relatively painless dentistry.
It starts with providing the service in local anesthesia so that there’s an absence of pain throughout it. Sure, it’s a lot more involved than a tooth extraction or even a root canal, but the anesthesia should hold true regardless. Furthermore, the knowledgeable and experienced dental professional should be able to deal with dental implant process impeccably, from surgery onwards.
Otherwise, he’ll just have you referred to a dental surgeon who specializes in implant surgery, particularly if it involves bone grafts due to you lacking jawbone density or something. Regardless, pain is the last thing you should be worried about because you’ll be given a wide variety of anesthetic options and strengths. There are multiple ways for you to get comfortable while implant techniques nowadays are minimally invasive.
There’s also dentistry known as sedative dentistry that puts you under or puts you to sleep with a sedative or general anesthetic so that you can sleep through the entire procedure while your dentist works on you. This is the dentistry of choice for those who have anxiety issues or dentist phobia (dentophobia or odontophobia). It can be applied to you as nitrous sedation or as a general anesthesia injection.
The myth of dental implantation being too painful is a persistent one because of how infamously painful root canal procedures used to be. It typically leaves the patient with a huge swelling face and pain that lasts for weeks or even months back in the early days of dentistry. However, that was literally a century ago. Since then, root canals have become virtually painless and so have dental implants. It also takes only an hour to place the dental implant. You can experience recovery within days, in fact.
Myth #3: Dental Implantation Is Too Risky: No, you won’t have to risk your life or dental health in order to undergo a dental implant procedure. In fact, if you’re not a candidate for the procedure, the dentist is expected to inform you right away. If you are eligible for the surgery you can rest assured that it’s a wholly safe and clinically tested procedure enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people all around the world!
In the past 30 years or so, dental implant technology has continuously evolved. It has been gaining advancements in almost every passing year. Because of this, dentists can now guarantee a 95 percent success rate for every procedure and a low 5 percent failure rate. This is because only the best dental practitioners and dental surgeon specialists are licensed to perform the dental implant procedure, like how only the best surgeons are licensed to do heart operations.
They’re able to avoid complications through their expertise and by screening the patients to see if they’re worthy candidates for the treatment or not. This allows them to avoid any complications, like doing a surgical operation on someone with a heart ailment. It’s all about selecting the right dentist or dental surgeon, but even your family or local dentist can refer you to the true experts in case he’s not qualified to do the dental implant service himself.
Naturally, some might view the procedure as risky – because all surgical procedures entail a measure of risk to them. They might also find the fact that it requires a healing process disconcerting. However, this time period isn’t actually that long at all. The idea here is to have the titanium implant bond with both the gum and jaw, which can take from 3 to 6 months depending on the constitution of the patient in question.
Throughout the healing process itself, there’s no discomfort. No swelling, no pain that requires you to take painkillers, and no prolonged suffering that can affect your quality of life. You can still attend to your day-to-day life normally provided that you don’t do anything teeth-gnashing hard and strenuous. It doesn’t take too long to recover from dental implant surgery regardless of the 3-6 month bonding procedure (which is itself painless).
Myth #4: Dental Implants Require Special Care and Maintenance: That’s also false. Perhaps this myth roots from the fact that All-on-4 to All-on-8 dental implants where it connects multiple dental bridges together on 4-8 implant anchors require “special care” when brushing and flossing. However, the adjustment you’ll make to clean those prosthetic dentures is minimal at best, particularly when it comes to flossing. The implant itself is covered by the crown and won’t need flossing.
What this myth implies, however, is that dental implants themselves require maintenance hassles like extraneous removal or special cleaning treatment. The truth of that matter is that all you need to do in order to take care of your implants is to clean them like you would our natural teeth. Maybe you need to floss differently with bridges, but that’s it. This is because a dental bridge is a set of false teeth that hovers above the gum line where your missing teeth used to be.
Therefore, in order to clean a bridge attached to two implants or one implant and one natural tooth, you need to insert one end of the floss about five inches to the loop of what’s known as a floss threader. Pass the floss threader under your bridge then remove the threader from the floss and floss gently back and forth plus up and down the gumline between the teeth. Repeat as necessary.
Take note, this is for dental bridges. The implant itself requires minimal maintenance. In this case, you have an extra gap to floss with your floss threader, which is the gap immediately under the dental bridge, between the bridge and the gums. It threads that narrow passage where food can also end up in. That food must be cleaned out or else it can also produce acid that can corrode your false teeth and give cavities to your remaining healthy natural teeth.
Just brush the crowns or bridges connected to the implant and go for regular dental checkups plus prophylaxis treatments for cleanup not covered by your daily dental hygiene regimen. The lone dental implant with one crown requires less care than a dental bridge or other denture type. Just brush twice a day or after every meal, floss once a day, and visit Thantakit Dental Center for your regular 6-month cleanings plus oral exams.
Myth #5: Dental Implants Don’t Look Like Your Natural Teeth: If you’re going to get technical, yes, the implant itself doesn’t look like natural teeth. But that’s beside the point. The implant isn’t supposed to look like natural teeth, it’s supposed to serve as the anchor by which you put your dental crown or dental bridge over, which in turn are supposed to look like natural teeth. That metal stud is there to ensure that not only do your dentures look natural; they feel natural, too.
It’s the crowns that should match the shade of your teeth so that they can fit perfectly with the rest of your teeth, like they belong there. Meanwhile, it’s the job of that protruding metal stud with its lower part screwed over your jaw and bonded with bone and gum to make your dentures feel like real teeth, roots and all. However, porcelain crown implants tend to be resistant to staining so it might stand out if the rest of your teeth become a shade yellower than before.
Never fear, though. If you care enough about dental health and aesthetics to acquire a dental implant that’s about 60 times or so more expensive than a tooth extraction or tooth filling, then you’d care enough to invest on teeth whitening or teeth cleanup services. Avoid letting your crowns stand out like sore thumbs by regularly maintaining good dental hygiene habits or going to your dentist regularly for dental cleaning.
It’s not cheap to get a dental implant, especially compared to dental bridges on natural teeth and detachable dentures. However, they’re worth the money because of how painless and effective they are in turning a bridge, crown, or set of dentures into natural-feeling teeth that function almost as good as your natural permanent teeth. With proper care, they can easily last you for the rest of your life just like your real teeth. And even though porcelain crowns can melt from mouth acid like your natural teeth, they’re at least a bit more resistant than normal.
The Bottom Line
Before proceeding with any type of dental treatment or method, it’s always best to schedule a consultation with your dentist first to learn more about what you’re getting into. They’ll be the ones to warn you from the get go how expensive the procedure is, if your dental insurance offers partial or full coverage of it, and walk you through the entire process in order to help you in picking the most suitable choice for your personal needs. It’s encouraged that you contact Thantakit Dental Clinic for a free consultation and ask them about how huge your savings will be when you avail of Thailand dental tourism packages even with the cost of travel included!
Thantakit International Dental Center is Thailand’s longest established dental center. Situated in Bangkok, our clinic is renowned across the world as a destination for world-class dentistry, with most of our patients flying to us from Australia.
Please contact us today and get a FREE dental consultation.