Dealing with Dental Implant Anxiety
by Dr. Scott Bolding
Replacing missing teeth is important for both your oral health and self-confidence. If you’re ready to get your smile back there are a few options, including dental implants. They’re the most common way to replace missing teeth. However, even with all their benefits, some people may still feel nervous about getting dental implants.
Being anxious about dental implants, or any dental procedure for that matter, is normal. However, they are safe, painless, and the only permanent way to replace missing teeth. It’s ultimately up to you and your dental team to decide if dental implants are the best way for you to replace your missing teeth.
Why Do People Get Nervous About Dental Implants?
There are several reasons why someone might feel anxious about dental implants. Some of these reasons include:
- Afraid the procedure will be painful
- General dental anxiety
- Worried the implant will fail
The truth is it’s perfectly normal to feel anxiety about any kind of dental procedure, and dental implants are no exception. A lot of people feel some level of anxiety when they go to the dentist, even for a routine checkup. Being nervous about dental implants is even more common because the procedure requires surgery and is more invasive. You may feel nervous about being uncomfortable during the procedure, being sedated, or how things will go after the implants are placed.
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Why You Shouldn’t Be Nervous About Dental Implants?
Even though being nervous is normal, we can assure you that there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to dental implants.
Dental Implants Are Safe
Dental implants are a safe way to replace your missing teeth. In fact, the success rate of dental implants is 90-95%. Dental implants are made of titanium which fuses well with your jawbone. Titanium is strong and doesn’t fracture easily. This means they can last for the rest of your life.
Modern technology like custom smile design and robotics also make dental implants safe. With custom smile design we plan out exactly where each implant will go with a 3D model of your mouth. This ensures they are accurately placed.
We also use robotics to help us as we perform dental implant surgery. The robot doesn’t replace the surgeon, it just guides us as we work. With this guidance, we are able to drill only as much as we need to, no more no less.
This kind of technology means you don’t have to worry about dental implants falling out. Dental implant failure is very rare. It usually happens as a result of poor oral hygiene after they’ve already been placed.
Dental Implants Are Painless
If you’re nervous about dental implants being painful, you don’t have to worry about that either. When you get dental implants you have two options, local anesthesia or sedation.
Local anesthesia numbs the area where the implants will be placed. You’ll be awake during the procedure. But you won’t feel any pain. Most patients find they are able to handle the procedure just fine this way.
If you’re still uncomfortable with the idea of being awake during the procedure you can ask your oral surgeon about sedation. This way you’ll be asleep during the procedure. Sedation will require more moderation from the surgical team, as well as a bit more time after surgery for you to wake up. But if sedation will help your anxiety about dental implants, then you should consider it.
Ways to Deal with Dental Implant Anxiety
There are also several ways to deal with dental implant anxiety. Honestly, anything you can do to help yourself relax will make the procedure go better.
If you’re nervous about dental implants one of the best things you can do is learn as much as you can. This involves doing research and talking to your dental team.
Take some time before you make your decision to learn as much as you can about dental implants. Learn about the process, why you may need them, and anything else you can think of. The more information you have, the more you’ll feel at ease.
Then, take this information and discuss it with your dental team. Go over any questions or concerns you may have. They want you to make the right decision for your oral health. So, they will be more than happy to talk it all over. They’ll also be able to point you to more resources to help you as you make your decision.
Find Ways to Relax Before Surgery
If you decide to go ahead with dental implants you still may be nervous about the procedure. You should try to find ways to help yourself relax. Breathing exercises, listening to music, and getting enough sleep can help you stay calm before surgery. You should also try to get to the office early so you have time to relax.
Find a Provider You Can Trust
You’re less likely to feel anxious about dental implants if you’re working with people you can trust. That’s why it’s important to choose your dental team carefully. You should look for a team that has the expertise and compassion necessary to handle your case.
What If I’m Still Nervous About Dental Implants?
Ultimately, the choice to get dental implants is up to you and your dental team. And it’s ok if you don’t think you’re ready yet.
But you do need to figure out a way to replace your missing teeth. If you don’t fill in those gaps in your smile you can expect more oral health problems down the road.
Your mouth works as a system. And if there are holes in your smile the other teeth will shift to fill in the gap. This can have an effect on your bite. You may also experience super-eruptions, which is when the teeth opposite the missing tooth start extracting themselves to fill in the space. The open space also makes your mouth more susceptible to infections.
There are other ways to replace missing teeth besides dental implants. Bridges and dentures are also options for people who are nervous about dental implants
You Don’t Need to Worry
About Dental Implants
Being anxious about dental implants can keep you from getting the smile you deserve. It’s normal to feel nervous about dental implants. But you need to know that there really isn’t anything to worry about. Dental implants are safe and painless. And with an oral surgeon you can trust, you can put all of your dental anxiety behind you.
Ultimately though, the choice is up to you. You need to discuss everything with your dental team. Let us know what you’re concerned about. And together we can help you make the right choice, so you can smile again.