It’s safe to say that a considerable segment of the population doesn’t like visiting the dentist. Maybe you can relate? Warranted or not, dentists trigger fear. Fear over the anticipated pain associated with getting dental work done. And fear over the high cost of getting that work done. Who wants to pay a ton of money for a painful and unpleasant experience? If this describes your mindset, your fear is, theoretically, justified. However, when you think about visiting the dentist from a practical standpoint, letting your fear control you can cause long-term problems that pale in comparison.
Think about it on a relatively smaller scale. You go in for a cleaning. The dentist informs you that you have a small cavity you should schedule a visit to take care of. On your way out the door, you make that appointment with the receptionist. A few weeks pass, and you don’t keep that appointment. A few months pass, and the cavity gets worse. It’s bigger and deeper. A year passes and what would have been a simple cavity filling turns into something much more involved -- from a time, cost, and discomfort standpoint.
If you need dental implants and you put them off, you’re quite possibly in for far worse consequences than you would be for putting off a simple cavity filling. Let’s consider a few of the things that can go wrong if you don’t move forward with your dentist’s recommendation to get dental implants.
When you’re missing a tooth, bone loss where that tooth once was can begin to occur in just a year. If you have put off replacing the missing tooth with an implant, you might need a bone graft to repair your jawbone before you can move forward with the implant.
It takes time to recover from a bone graft (two weeks or so initially, followed by several months for the new bone to solidify and take hold). The procedure isn’t cheap. Depending on how it’s done, a bone graft can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $3,000.
It’s likely that you’re thinking about dental implants, at least in part, because you’re not happy with your smile or the way your mouth contributes to your appearance in some fashion. Here again, delaying the inevitable can make the situation much worse. It makes perfect sense -- the longer you leave the gap or gaps missing teeth cause, the greater the chance you’ll experience even more shifting and misalignment. Not only does this impact the way you look, but these gaps can trigger a whole host of other issues.
First, the damage leaving gaps from missing teeth creates can make it more difficult to place implants once you go that route. Second, missing teeth can impact your bite, leading to joint pain or the need for braces or other orthodontic fixes. Again, putting off dental implants can increase the cost, time suck, and discomfort you’ll experience.
Missing teeth can cause one side of your mouth to overcompensate when you’re eating. Here again, this can lead to bigger problems than you started with. Missing teeth can also cause you to bite your tongue and cheeks more than you otherwise would.
It’s common to want to put things off that make you feel uncomfortable or scared. That said, putting off dental implants will not make your oral health issues go away. In fact, it will probably make them worse. The things you’re concerned about will only get worse the longer you wait to move forward with dental implants.
While it is a major procedure, dentists and oral surgeons adept at dental implants can make the entire experience a relative breeze. Most dentists will work with you to fit the cost of dental implants into your budget. If not, there are other ways to manage the financial aspects. If you’re worried about pain and discomfort, you can discuss your options with your service provider. They’ll range from a local anesthetic to sedation. It is in your dentist or oral surgeon’s best interest to make you as pain- and anxiety-free as possible.
And the beauty of it all is that the success rate for dental implants is incredibly high. Generally speaking, it’s 98%. If you take care of your new teeth, dental implants can last forever. This is not the case with cheaper and seemingly easier fixes such as dentures. There’s more maintenance and replacement costs involved with dentures. Ultimately, they are inferior to dental implants.
Hopefully, the information on this page not only helped put you at ease, but gave you solid details to place the importance of dental implants in the proper context. From this page, you can access resources to help you get the ball rolling on a nice, new smile that will inspire confidence in so many aspects of your life, personally and professionally.