When it comes to cosmetic dental procedures, dental implants are anything but risky. This tried and true procedure is reliable, highly effective, and has very few downsides. And yet, there are still plenty of misconceptions floating around about dental implants. Whether you’ve heard horror stories secondhand or just never looked into the details of dental implants, it’s easy to get the wrong idea.

Don’t let these three myths stop you from getting a beautiful, functional replacement tooth right here in Anchorage.

Dental implants are prosthetic teeth on a white background

Dental Implants Might Fail

It’s true that dental implant failure is possible, but it’s not something that most people need to worry about. The screw that anchors the dental implant into your jaw is titanium, a highly biocompatible metal that has been used in biomedical applications for decades due to its reliability and its ability to osseointegrate. In fact, most studies find that the success rate for dental implants is over 98%, and sometimes over 99%. In addition, when failures happen, it’s usually early. About half of all failures occur within the first year because the implant failed to integrate. Once you get past that point, you are very likely to have a long-lasting dental implant.

People with gum disease, smokers, and people with low bone density in their jaw might not be perfect candidates for dental implants.  During your consultation, we can talk about your personal risk. In general, most people are good candidates for dental implants, and the likelihood of experiencing complications or dental implant failure is extremely low.

Dental Implants Cost Too Much

If you think dental implants are costly, you’ll be even more upset when you realize that failing to treat a missing tooth can lead to even more expensive dental problems down the road. Having a gap in the teeth can make you vulnerable to more plaque and decay. The teeth on either side of a missing tooth can also become vulnerable when they lose the support of a neighbor. Tooth loss can also lead to loss of jaw bone density over time. Not to mention that a missing tooth can change your bite and the appearance of your smile.

The appearance of your smile is not inconsiderable in terms of cost, either. A missing tooth is probably the most visible cosmetic issue in your smile. Having a more attractive smile has definite benefits. Your smile can make it easier for you to get a job and earn a higher salary. If you do have defects in your appearance, you could experience a plainness penalty of up to a 10% reduction in your lifetime earnings. Since the median lifetime earning for all workers is $1.7 million, that could be as much as $170,000! That’s far more than the cost of a dental implant. This is not to say that you’re guaranteed to earn back the money you invest in a dental implant. But you should think of your smile as an investment with return, not simply a cost.

Dental implants are worth investing in, not just because they prevent future expensive dental problems, but also because they are a long-lasting solution. If well cared for, dental implants can last for decades!

Dental Implants Hurt

Fear of pain is enough to drive anyone away from an elective procedure. But if you’re imagining that dental implants will be a painful experience, you might want to think again. In fact, our experienced Anchorage implant dentists can perform the procedure in less than twenty minutes, and a local anesthetic will keep you from feeling any pain during the implantation.

We can provide medications and suggestions for how to manage discomfort during the weeks following your surgery. And if you’re worried that fear will prevent you from getting the procedures you need, sedation dentistry might be the perfect solution. At Excellence in Dentistry, we offer IV sedation, which allows for a deeper state of sedation to overcome even the most serious dental anxiety.

Dental implants might seem scary, but they shouldn’t be. They’re a basic and effective procedure that dentists have been executing on the regular for decades. Don’t let misinformation keep you from having the healthy, beautiful smile you dream of.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Anchorage, Alaska, call us at (907) 349-0022 or contact us online to make an appointment.