Implants: Myth vs. Reality
More and more these days, patients are asking us about dental implants. As we have spoken with these patients, we have come to realize that there are a lot of misunderstandings and myths about implants—how they work, how they are used, etc.
Here are some common implant myths we have encountered…
Myth #1: Replacing a tooth with an implant is very quick.
Reality: Although the initial appointment to place the implant into the bone is usually a short visit, once the implant is placed, it takes about 3-4 months for the implant to completely fuse to the bone. During this “fusing” period, a patient will be without a permanent tooth in that area. Once the fusing has occurred, the final crown can be placed.
Myth #2: Implants are less expensive a bonded-in/”fixed” bridge.
Reality: replacing a missing tooth with an implant usually costs about the same as replacing the tooth with a bridge. On some occasions, when the circumstances are just right, an implant may be slightly less expensive than a bridge. In some cases, when bone grafting or special gum procedures are needed, an implant can cost more that a bridge.
Myth #3: Implants fail less often than bonded-in/“fixed” bridges.
Reality: Statistically speaking, a properly designed/properly placed/properly cleaned implant and a properly designed/properly placed/properly cleaned bridge have the same success rate.
Myth #4: Cleaning around and implant is the same as cleaning around a real tooth.
Reality: Cleaning around an implant is not difficult, but it is not the same as cleaning around a real tooth. When performing oral hygiene at home, a patient should brush and then floss the implant with a special “super floss”—kind of a fuzzy, yarn-like floss that helps keep the implant really clean. Also, when the Hygienist cleans around an implant, she uses special hand instruments that do not scratch the implant—a rough surface can lead to plaque and tartar build up on the implant.
A final thought:
Although implants may not be as simple as you might have believed, implants are a wonderful way to replace a missing tooth! Many of our patients have benefited from having an implant—in fact, they are very happy with their implants.
If you have more questions about implants, please give us a call—we can schedule you for a free implant consultation to see if you are a good candidate.