Tooth loss can be devastating. Not only does it affect the appearance of your smile, but it can compromise your dental health, too: A gap between teeth can trap food and open you up to decay, and missing teeth can force a change in diet that may not be healthy. The teeth on either side of a gap also tend to “lean” in, affecting your bite and potentially causing further tooth loss.
The clear solution to tooth loss is dental implants, but for many, the idea of getting dental implants is just as bad as — or even worse than! — the problems with having missing teeth.
Common Dental Implant Fears
If you aren’t very familiar with dental implants, it can be easy to find things to worry about. Luckily, most of those worries are unfounded. Dental implants are a tried and true solution to tooth loss, and the risks are extremely low.
First of all, having a titanium screw implanted into your jaw doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience. Many people are afraid that dental implants will be painful. But actually, the procedure is quick and easy with an experienced implant dentist, and local anesthesia will prevent you from feeling any pain. Of course the healing process will include some discomfort, but your dentist can work with you to manage that with medications and suggestions.
Another frightening thing about dental implants might be the thought of implant rejection. It’s true that in some cases, the body rejects the implant, and it will need to be removed. However, implant rejection is extremely rare — studies show that dental implant success rates are upwards of 98%.
Additionally, the factors that make implant rejection more likely are easy to identify, so your dentist will be able to determine up front whether or not you are a good candidate, and may even be able to suggest preparations you can do to reduce your risk of rejection, such as quitting smoking.
Conquer Your Implant Worries
Of course, for some people, fears about dental implants run deeper than others, and may not be able to be alleviated by any sort of explanations and statistics from your dentist. People who suffer from dental anxiety may even struggle to get up the nerve for a cleaning, let alone a more involved procedure like dental implants.
For these people, sedation dentistry may be the perfect solution. The process is easy: Your dentist will provide a medication for you to take at home before your appointment. You’ll be aware, but extremely relaxed, and you won’t experience stress or anxiety. Afterwards, you may remember little of your procedure.