Dental anxiety is a common trait among US adults, with some studies determining that as many as one-third of Americans may suffer from this sometimes extreme phobia. Anxiety can rear its ugly head even for minor dental exams and procedures, but it can sometimes be debilitating when dealing with a more complicated surgery, such as dental implants.
While many people write off anxiety, anyone who has experienced it first-hand knows that's it not "all in your head." Anxiety can often be crippling, but the good news is that there's nothing to fear when it comes to dental implants. Although overcoming anxiety isn't easy, here are three facts that may help alleviate some of your concerns.
1. Pain Is Usually Minimal
Many people avoid dentists for fear of pain, but dental procedures are often quick and relatively painless. While visiting a dentist for implants will be much more involved than other procedures, the surgery typically involves only mild discomfort. Your dentist will use a technique known as conscious sedation along with a local anesthetic to alleviate anxiety and pain.
While you will likely experience some discomfort during recovery, you can likely manage this pain with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen. If you experience more severe discomfort, your dentist may be able to prescribe stronger pain medication. In most cases, all pain will be gone within a week or two of completing your surgery.
2. You'll Experience Less Long-Term Discomfort
While being worried about discomfort is natural, the reality is that a missing or severely damaged tooth can lead to much greater pain. A missing tooth can provide a vector for infections while removing essential support for your other teeth. Over time, shifting teeth can cause severe pain and discomfort or even impact your ability to eat certain foods.
Dental implants are so effective because they are a permanent replacement for natural teeth. While an implant can make a huge difference in your smile and overall appearance, the real benefits come from its impact on oral health. Restoring your missing tooth will protect your jaw bones, support your remaining teeth, and help prevent painful and dangerous infections.
3. Implants Don't Require Excessive Dentist Visits
If you're already anxious about dental visits, you might worry that an implant will lead to many additional visits in the future. While you will need several visits to complete the surgery and follow-ups, you can resume your normal dental appointments once you recover. Unlike other options for replacing missing teeth, dental implants don't come with many specialized maintenance requirements.
In general, maintaining your dental implants only requires good oral hygiene and routine dental check-ups. You may even find that you need fewer appointments with your dentist over the long run since your implants will help improve your overall oral health and prevent future problems.
For more information about teeth implants, contact a local dentist.