Three myths about dental implant treatment

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and provide people with an alternative to removable dentures or a bridge.

Dentists place implants by fixing an artificial ‘root’ into a patient’s mouth. The titanium root fuses to bone, becoming a permanent fixture able to support a dental prosthesis like a crown, bridge or denture.

Due to the intricate nature of placing implants, there are a lot of misconceptions about the treatment, the aftercare and how successful they tend to be. I’ve had many weird and wonderful questions posed to me by patients during their implant consultation – and it’s important to be able to put them at ease.

So in an effort to debunk a few myths, here’s a rundown of three need-to-know facts about dental implants. You can also click here for more information about the treatment itself.

1) I’ll need to have the implant replaced after a few years: Once you’ve had confirmation that you’re suitable for implant treatment, they have a very high success rate in most cases. That means as long as you follow your dentist’s aftercare advice, there should be no reason why you need further work on the implant itself. Naturally, the crown or bridge attached to the implant may need replacing in time due to natural wear and tear.

2) You’ll be able to tell which teeth are implant crowns and which are my own: As long as you turn to an experienced dentist, this should never be the case. Whilst implants will support an artificial tooth – or teeth – your dentist will ensure that they look and feel just like all your other teeth. That also means that friends and family don’t even have to know you’ve had implant work – and in time, you may even forget yourself which teeth are your own and which are attached to implants!

3) I won’t be able to eat solid food for weeks: Many people ask me whether they need to watch what they eat after they’ve had implant surgery. Like with any surgery involving the mouth, there is inevitably a need to be cautious and keep to softer foods to avoid disturbing the stitches and the implant within the bone. Once this has healed however, and the implant crown or bridge has been fitted, you’ll be able to eat, chew and drink just as you did before. There’s also no slipping or sliding which can sometimes be felt with removable dentures that aren’t fitted correctly.