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Dental Implants & Myths About Mouth Reconstruction

Dental implants are the best method to replace missing teeth. But for all the buzz on how great they are, there’s also a lot of misinformation about this type of tooth prosthetic floating around. How do you know what’s fact vs fiction? Ask an oral surgeon! The internet is crazy; when it comes to having something installed in your jaw, you shouldn’t rely on websites and subreddits, when you can simply visit an oral surgery blog for the answers you’re looking for.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions patients tend to have about the dental implant process:

8 Fictional Facts About Dental Implant Surgery

1. Dental implants are only for older people.

Not so! If your bones are finished growing, you’re good to go as far as age restraints on dental implant installation. Children can’t get the procedure, as implants are permanent and unalterable, so they can’t grow and change with the rest of a developing jaw. However, a senior in high school who gets a tooth knocked out, or a mid-20s adult in opioid recovery who lost some teeth to substance use? Totally!

In fact, younger adults tend to be eligible more often than older adults, as the integrity of their jaws is often better. But that doesn’t mean the elderly can’t take advantage of dental implants, too – our oral surgeon is adept at holistic oral surgery techniques and geriatric oral surgery, including dentin bone grafting to supplement unhealthy jaws.

2. Dental implant surgery is painful.

The procedure itself is nothing – you’ll be on anesthesia and sedation during the surgery, so you won’t feel a thing, and can be as aware or unaware of what’s going on as you’re comfortable with. We are a patient-centered practice, so we do everything we can to make your implant surgery as quick and painless as possible.

One of the ways we do this is with our holistic recovery kit for oral surgery, which is a bit of a misnomer, because it’s a 10-day regimen you start a few days before your procedure. This kit preps your body for the procedure, setting you up for a smooth surgery and simple recovery.

3. Recovery from the implant installation is long and difficult.

Is the recovery process long? Sort of. The portion of the recovery process you feel is a few days of mild swelling and discomfort that is easily controlled with homeopathic methods or OTC anti-inflammatories. You should take it easy for a week or so – don’t strain or use straws – that sort of thing. But that’s about it as far as dental implant recovery being bothersome.

The next few months after your dental implant surgery is technically recovery, but you’re not feeling a thing for it. Your jaw is trying to integrate the implant with the bone, so it all happens slowly and under the surface. Recovering from having the synthetic tooth root installed is more about patience than anything else.

4. Insurance won’t cover dental implant surgery.

This is a case-by-case basis situation, but dental insurance is likely to cover dental implant surgery at least in part. Factors that affect whether your insurance will cover prosthetic teeth and what portion they cover include:

  • Policy
    • Some insurance policies, like PPOs, are more likely to offer some coverage for implants than HMOs or limited benefit plans.
  • Coverage
    • Some insurers may have separate plans or riders specifically for implants, while others might offer partial coverage within existing major restorative benefits.
  • Waiting Period
    • Many plans have waiting periods before covering major procedures like implants, and you might need to be insured for a specific period before even submitting a claim.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions
    • Pre-existing dental conditions like bone loss or periodontal disease may affect coverage eligibility or the amount covered.
  • Medical Necessity
    • Dental implants for medically necessary reasons, such as replacing teeth lost due to trauma or congenital defects, are more likely to be covered than those purely for cosmetic purposes.
  • Alternative Treatment Options
    • Insurance carriers might compare implant costs to other tooth replacement options like bridges or dentures and only offer partial coverage if the implant is significantly more expensive.
  • Network Participation
    • If your provider is in your insurance network, you may face lower out-of-pocket costs compared to choosing an out-of-network provider.
  • Documentation
    • Ensure your oral surgeon properly documents the medical necessity and details of the tooth implant procedure on your claim to maximize coverage chances.

Wilmington Oral Surgery works closely with your dental insurance to help you make the most of your policy, because dental implants as an oral reconstruction method aren’t just cosmetic, they’re comprehensive.

5. Prosthetic tooth installations are really expensive.

While dental implants may seem expensive up front, they’re not as bad as they may at first seem, especially when you choose an oral surgery practice that takes measures to make implant surgery affordable. Consider these cost-effective factors of prosthetic teeth:

  • They’re a permanent solution. Dental implants tend to last 25 years to life, especially if you take good care of your oral health.
  • They protect the health of your jaw and teeth. Compared to dentures and bridges, which do not stop your teeth from moving or your jaw deteriorating due to the missing tooth/teeth, dental implants stabilize the structure of your mouth, reducing the chances you’ll need other costly oral surgeries in the future.
  • Dental insurance is likely to offer at least partial coverage.
  • Wilmington Oral Surgery offers CareCredit, which is an interest-free 6-month payment plan that allows you to spread the cost out over a longer period of time.
  • Our practice only bills for the value and cost of the surgical services.
  • We also only bill patients for the actual amount of anesthesia used. Standard practice in dental sedation and anesthesia is to bill increments, meaning even if you only needed 43 minutes of care, you get billed for 60. Not with us!

Wilmington Oral Surgery is able to save our patients up to $800 per dental implant, making the process of getting comprehensive tooth reconstruction affordable.

6. Dental implants require special care compared to natural teeth.

Nope! Once you’re all healed up and the implant crown has been installed, dental implants require exactly the same care as the rest of your mouth. Brush 2x/day, floss daily, use mouthwash, drink lots of water – the same ways you protect the health of your gums, jaw and natural teeth cover dental implants as well.

7. Implanted synthetic tooth roots are prone to rejection.

Dental implant surgery is successful well over 90% of the time. In all honesty, the likelihood of a dental implant getting rejected is largely up to the patient. If you don’t take care of the health of your mouth, it’s more likely to be rejected – just like your natural teeth are more likely to fall out if you neglect your oral health.

The right oral surgeon does all they can to make the chances of your implant surgery being successful, which is why consultations and exams are so vital to our process. Titanium and ceramic implants are extremely biocompatible – bone easily integrates with them. However, for people with certain health conditions, we need to more closely manage their care to ensure their dental implants last for decades to come.

8. People with health conditions can’t get dental implants.

This is another total myth – if everyone with a health condition or on certain medications were barred from getting dental implants, no one would be able to take advantage of this holistic oral surgery technique! There are measures we take to make prosthetic teeth a viable option for as many of our patients as possible:

  • Close monitoring during osseointegration for people more prone to rejection due to immune problems
  • Working in tandem with your other health specialists to coordinate care
  • Utilizing the latest in holistic dental bone grafting with PRF to strengthen the jaw and encourage the growth of new, healthy bone
  • Providing patients the option of ceramic zirconia dental implants for those especially sensitive to metals and/or with especially difficult immune issues.

In addition, titanium is one of the only metals that is safe even in MRI machines, so people who often undergo these types of scans can still get dental implants and not have to worry about limiting their diagnostic options.

See? Having implants installed at the site of missing teeth isn’t all that scary or mysterious. And with the right oral surgeon, dental implant surgery is available for many more types of patients than you might think. If you’ve got a missing tooth or even several, dental implants can help reconstruct your smile the real way – from the inside out. Are these holistic prosthetic teeth the right solution for you? Contact Wilmington Oral Surgery to schedule a consultation.

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