We all want a healthy, gorgeous smile to show off to the world, but all too often doubts and misinformation prevent us from seeking the dental assistance we need to make the most of our pearly whites. Dental implants not only improve your appearance and self-esteem, but correct chewing and prevent possible crowding, tipping, and future tooth loss from creating subsequent problems.

Unlike a crown, which sits atop the gum line, a dental implant is a long cylinder-shaped post that is surgically implanted into your jawbone where missing teeth and roots were once located. The tapered post becomes the support that anchors the rest of the tooth to the jawbone, creating a prosthetic tooth identical to a natural one.

Here are four common misconceptions about dental implants that may be keeping you from the smile you deserve.

1. Dental surgery is too painful and invasive.

As with any surgery, the amount of pain varies depending on personal tolerance and your body’s natural recovery time. Dental implant surgery is an office procedure performed by an experienced dental surgeon, with the average tooth implant often taking 15 minutes or less. The procedure is certainly less traumatic than other well-known dental operations, and your dental practitioner should always welcome your questions and concerns beforehand.

Patients generally report significantly less discomfort than expected after undergoing implant surgery, some even claiming the procedure to be far less painful than a simple tooth extraction. Recovery is fairly quick, with many patients able to return to work and their daily routines by the following day.

Typically any potential discomfort can be eased with over the counter painkillers, as well as IV sedation for a post-operative pain preventative.

2. Dental implants are too expensive.

A major–and very understandable–concern for many is the cost of dental work, which can be daunting to say the least. And with the majority of health insurance providers offering little to no coverage for necessary dentistry, a great number of people will simply go without, risking future problems of greater severity.

The good news is reputable dental implant practitioners will offer several financing options through affiliated companies, allowing you to make monthly payments in accordance with your income and budget.

Dental implants will save you money in the long run by preserving the jawbone and keeping adjacent teeth healthy and properly aligned. With routine care, an implant will likely last a lifetime, preventing any additional (and costly) dental procedures after the initial placement.

3. Not everyone is eligible for dental implants (age, not enough bone, etc).

While it’s true that the jawbone may become thin due to age and various traumas, state of the art grafting techniques and oral materials allow surgeons to easily and skillfully build up the necessary jawbone needed to support dental implants.

Older patients may worry that their jawbone is too weak for implants due to age and/or osteoporosis. However, dental implants are equally successful in patients with these concerns, with resulting overall health and wellbeing greatly improved.

4. Implant rejection rate is high.

Contrary to this misconception, dental implants carry a 96% success rate. Dental implants consist of biologically compatible ‘bone-friendly’ titanium material, allowing them to naturally heal and integrate into the surrounding tissues. Rejection is extremely rare, as are complications due to infection or soft healing.

Ultimately dental implants are the ideal and long lasting way to restore oral comfort and health, improve speech and bite function, and deliver the boost of confidence you need to greet the world with a smile. Your dedicated implantologist understands the value of a safe and comfortable experience, while keeping with only the most sophisticated, up-to-date dental techniques.