Challenging some of the myths about modern dental implants

Our Implantologist clears up any confusion

As dental implants slowly start to catch up with dentures as the most popular method of replacing a missing tooth, both in the West Midlands and the rest of the country, it is inevitable that rumours and a certain amount of scare-mongering will arise too. Perhaps this is not surprising as dental implants are only just starting to be widely acknowledged by the general public and some confusion is only to be expected. Whilst it may be true that early dental implants were rudimentary, with the advance of dental technology this is no longer the case – the implant placement procedure and materials involved are all tried and tested and very well understood. Here we examine a few of the most common myths and concerns surrounding dental implants.

Concern 1 – Having a Dental Implant Placed is a Painful Procedure

Anyone who dislikes visiting a dentist will usually tell you it is because of the pain factor. Whilst few would describe any type of medical procedure as pleasant, with modern anaesthetics there should be no need for pain to be felt during any procedure although some discomfort may be expected. The most likely source of this myth probably stems from the fact that the dental implant itself, which is a titanium object, similar in some ways to a “high tech” screw, is placed into the jawbone. The thought of drilling into the jawbone does cause concern for some, but the fact is that the jawbone itself contains relatively few nerves and consequently is not particularly sensitive to pain. It may feel slightly strange when the implant is being placed but with anaesthetic, it could not be described as a painful procedure. Of course, once the implant has been placed, there is likely to be some discomfort for a period afterwards but this can be managed quite easily with painkillers and will fade soon afterwards.

Concern 2 – Some People Can’t Have Dental Implants

One argument suggests that dental implants are only suitable for young and healthy patients and those that are elderly or have been long term heavy smokers can’t have them. This is not true at all although there are circumstances which may mean that an extra procedure is needed prior to the implant placement. This procedure is known as a bone graft and is needed when the bone density of a patient is not sufficient for a dental implant to be placed. The bone itself is often, although not always, taken from the patient as this guarantees the best chance of a successful graft. Most patients will be able to have a dental implant without this extra procedure but when required, a bone graft will open up the procedure to the vast majority.

Concern 3 – Dental Implants Are Weak

This one is simply incorrect; dental implants are, in fact, very strong and may well be even stronger than any remaining natural teeth. Because they are anchored into the jaw bone, they offer the strongest possible option to replace a missing tooth. Provided that instructions given by the dentist are followed, it would take a fairly traumatic facial injury to cause any problems to a dental implant once it has settled in.

Hopefully, this blog covers the most common myths about dental implants but if you do have any questions or concerns about the procedure,  here at Arthur House Dental Care in Sutton Coldfield, we are always happy to answer any that you may have.