The average adult smile consists of twenty-eight teeth (not including wisdom teeth), and each tooth serves a purpose. When a tooth is lost from injury, gum disease, or decay, the gap left behind can expose the other teeth to harmful bacteria, decay, and potential injury. In the last couple of decades, dental implants have been recommended as an optimal solution for the replacement of missing teeth. Implants are typically suggested after all efforts to preserve a tooth have been made.
What is a Dental Implant?
An implant is an artificial replacement for the root of a tooth. It mimics the natural tooth structure and serves as an anchor for one or more replacement teeth. The term “dental implant” often refers to the following three components: ceramic crown, connector or abutment, and the titanium base that fuses with the jawbone.
Dispelling the Misconceptions
1. Dental implants look fake.
Perhaps the most common misconception about dental implants is that they will look noticeable, not natural. Most patients are actually surprised by how real their implants look and how natural they feel.
2. Getting implants is painful.
Actually, since there are not many nerve endings in bone, local anesthesia easily minimizes the discomfort. In fact, there is almost no postoperative pain involved. After the procedure itself, you may become used to your implants so quickly that you forget you even have them!
3. The cost of implants is expensive.
While implants do have a higher initial cost than most other dental procedures, they last much longer than other alternative options. Unlike bridges that may only last about ten years, implants can last a lifetime. The biocompatible titanium base is non-toxic and is integrated directly with your jawbone. Patients can brush, floss, and eat as they would with any of their other teeth.
4. Implants are unhealthy.
During the past several decades, this procedure has had a 95% success rate. The biocompatible titanium base is non-toxic and integrated directly with your jawbone.
5. Only an oral surgeon can place implants.
Oral surgery should always be performed by a skilled specialist. However, implants may be placed by a periodontist, prosthodontist, or general dentist who specializes in implants.
If you’re like the millions of Americans who have one or more missing teeth, you could benefit from dental implants. Serving the Fredericksburg region with a combined thirty-eight years of experience, Dr. Cathie Hidalgo Seaman and Dr. Joel Butterworth specialize in dental implant surgery. Contact Smile Center to schedule your consultation today: 540-899-7791!