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 implantsâ€”how they work, how they are used, etc.
Here are some common implant myths we have encounteredâ€¦
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 â€œfusingâ€ 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/â€fixedâ€ 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/â€œfixedâ€ 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 â€œsuper flossâ€â€”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 implantâ€”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 implantâ€”in fact, they are very happy with their implants.
If you have more questions about implants, please give us a callâ€”we can schedule you for a free implant consultation to see if you are a good candidate.