Myth #1: Every Dentist is Qualified to Install Implants
Many dental patients may not realize the degree of specialization that exists in modern dentistry. Since many general dentist offices can handle braces, root canals, and certain other "less than routine" procedures, you may think dental implants can be done be nearly any dentist. This is simply not the case. It takes the extra years of training that a periodontist receives to adequately prepare someone for this kind of involved, delicate surgery. And you shouldn't entrust your oral care to anyone who is not "unquestionably qualified" to handle the specific task at hand.
Myth #2: A Bone Graft Is Almost Always Necessary
Dental implants are normally made of titanium, a material that will firmly and safely integrate into your jaw bone. This is usually all that is necessary for a 98% success rate to be obtained and for the implants to last for decades (usually a lifetime). However, it is true that bone grafts are sometimes necessary for implant surgery. Usually, bone graft surgery is done when the tooth has been missing for a long period of time, which can cause the underlying bone to shrink down due to lack of stimulation. If grafting is necessary, the material will likely come from your chin or the back portion of your lower jaw.
Myth #3: Implants Are Difficult to Care For
In reality, dental implants need only be cared for the same way you would your natural teeth, after the initial healing process. This means regular oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, mouth rinse) and biannual dental check-ups and tooth cleanings. Initially, you will need to use a special antiseptic mouth rinse, avoid brushing/flossing the still-tender gums surrounding the implant(s), and avoid certain types of foods and drinks. After 5 to 8 months, you should be 100% past these restrictions, however.
Finally, there are other misconceptions sometimes raised, including that implant surgery is too expensive or too painful. The pain can be quelled via nitrous-oxide and (if necessary) a local anesthetic and is not much, if any, more intense than with other dental surgeries. The cost is well worthwhile since implants are very durable and functional, and most dental insurance will cover them. Some may also think implants would be too visible/uncomfortable in their mouth, but they are actually similar in feel and appearance to natural teeth.
To know for sure if dental implants are right for you, you will want to talk to your periodontist, but don't let popular myths deter you from even considering them. In Ormond Beach, FL, contact periodontist Dr. Raymond Kenzik to learn more about implants and their benefits.