Fear #1: My Dental Implant Will Fail
Losing a tooth is a very emotional experience. The notion that a tooth could fall out, break, or have to be extracted might make you think that the same thing is going to happen to a dental implant.
Add to that the fact that you might not have heard of dental implants until recently. They seem like a new technology, and possibly untested. You might not know anyone who has one. This creates uncertainty that you’re going to be putting a lot of money into something that will just fail.
Let’s calm this fear right now: dental implants have been in use in the US since the late 1980s, and they’ve been in use in Europe even longer. Millions of people around the country have received dental implants, and we have a lot of data proving that they last a long time.
There are dozens of studies we can share to show you this, but let’s start with just one: a 20-year study of thousands of dental implants showing that about 93% of dental implants last at least 17 years. And about half of those that fail do so because of something an inexperienced dentist might do–that’s why you should pick an implant dentist carefully–or poor care on the part of the user.
If you get dental implants, the odds are very good that your dental implant will not only succeed, it’ll be in place for years, even decades.
Fear #2: Dental Implants Are Toxic
Dental implants are made of titanium, which is an extremely biocompatible metal. It’s not harmful, quite the opposite. The body adopts titanium as its own and builds bone around it, and the titanium itself stays in the dental implant, and doesn’t become corroded or shed metal to the body. It’s about as close to a completely inert material as you can get. Again, we have studies with thousands of people who have dental implants for decades showing that none of them experience any adverse effects from their implants.
Fear#3: The Procedure Will Hurt
It’s normal to experience some anxiety about the dental implant procedure, but let us assure you that the procedure is generally not painful. The dental implant procedure is performed under anesthesia, and when the anesthesia wears off, discomfort is typically minor, controllable with over-the-counter medications.
In general, the worst part of a dental implant procedure is the extraction, and even that isn’t too bad.
Of course, pain experiences differ widely among individuals, and it’s likely you know your pain response better than we do. If you have anxiety about the procedure, we can use sedation dentistry to help you feel at ease, which will reduce discomfort during and after the procedure.
Fear #4: My Dental Implant Will Look Fake
The truth is that any restoration will look better than a gap in your smile, and a dental implant will look as good or better than other restoration options like a dental bridge or partial denture.
But take a moment to consider something: There are about 17 million dental implants in place in the US (extrapolated from figures here and here–we don’t have a good estimate.) Considering there’s only a little more than 300 million people in the US, the odds are pretty good that you know someone who has a dental implant. If you don’t know who it is, that’s a pretty good argument for them being very natural restorations.
Fear #5: Dental Implants Are Expensive
Dental implants do cost more than some dental procedures, but considering the length of time you will have them, they are a very good investment. And there’s no point in worrying about the price until you’ve gotten a quality estimate.
And if you’re thinking that it might be a good idea to try to save a little money by working with a cheaper provider for your dental implants, consider a few points. First, divide the price difference between the two estimates by the 17 years you’re expected to have your dental implant and you’ll find that the cost difference is negligible. For example, a $2000 difference over 17 years is just 30 cents a day. Barely half the price of a Starbucks latte a week.
And when you consider that an inexperienced dentist has about 5 times the risk of dental implant failure of an experienced dentist, and more than half of the failures occur in the first year, you’re looking at potentially paying only $2000 less for a dental implant that lasts a year, compared to $2000 more for one that lasts 16 years more, and there’s no doubt that it’s better to spend more for the better odds of survival.