Myths and Facts
As about virtually anything, there have been many myths and unwarranted assertions about implant dentistry too. Often they negatively influence patients who could benefit from implant treatment. We have selected the most common myths for you:
“Having a dental implant, I will not be able to undergo X-ray or MRI examinations.”
According to valid guidelines, all materials currently used in dentistry including materials used for production of dental implants and their components must be produced from non-ferromagnetic metals and their alloys. All MRI examinations of patients with implants are thus absolutely safe.
Dental implants do not interfere with X-ray or CT (computer tomography) examinations at all. In X-ray or CT pictures (Note: X-ray and CT pictures are negatives in which air is displayed as black shadow. The thicker the material is, the lighter the negative is displayed) implants are displayed as light, clearly framed spots in the shape of the implant. After the placement of each implant, its position in bone is de facto checked by an X-ray examination, sometimes by a CT examination too, if necessary.
”Having an implant means that it is detectable when walking through door frame metal detectors, e. g. at the airport I will light up and beep.”
Dental implants are not detected at airports. If patients have them, they will have no problems walking through detectors. The same applies to handheld detectors which are used by TSA officials. If implants ”beeped” at the airport, people with amalgam tooth fillings or metal bridges would beep too, as well as people having removable partial denture with metal body. Therefore, almost every person would beep but that is not true.
”Implants are placed with shotguns like earrings.”
Dental implants have never been placed like earings with shotguns. It is rather difficult to identify when and why this myth arose. Dental specialists consider placing dental implants with shotguns (similar to shotgun earrings) inconceivable activity. There are quite a lot of types of dental implants. The most commonly used and clinically best documented is the root-form endosseus dental implant in the shape of one part of a tooth root (which can have various shapes of the screw). This type of implant is gradually and carefully placed into the bone after pre-drilling a hole of accurate shape. It is placed manually or mechanically. This placement process has strict guidelines with regard to speed and the rotation moment.
”Implants release metal into body.”
For production of dental implants only high-grade titanium alloys are used. These are fully non-toxic and harmless to human body. Their release into body in detectable levels is in fact impossible. After placing an implant into the bone, the implant is resistant to corrosion due to the quality of its material and therefore resistant to release any material into human body.
”After certain period of time implants must be replaced.”
A fully functional implant is not necessary to replace during the whole life. It can last and serve the holder to their full satisfaction for the rest of one’s life.
”Implants can cause sinusitis.”
The implant itself cannot cause inflammation in the nose or paranasal sinuses. This might be possible only in case someone damaged the sinuses by some non-professional surgical intervention and subsequently treated the damage improperly.
”Implants can cause allergic reaction.”
Allergic reaction is theoretically possible to every single substance in the world. But allergic reactions to titanium alloys are very rare and the majority of dental implantologists in the world as well as in our country have never been personally challanged with such a case during their whole professional carieer.
”There is a high percentage of dental implant failures. ”
An experienced dental implantologist working with a good quality implant system must have no more than 2 – 3 placed implants out of 100 which are not healed. Therefore, we talk about 97 – 98 per cent of primary success rate in dental implants. If an implantologist had more dental implant failures, he must necessarily seek for causes of such failure. There are several specific treatment modalities available which, when performed by an experienced dental implantologist, reach almost 100 per cent success rate.
”The main reason why a dentist recommends me implant treatment is their earnings.”
Each professional activity has, besides humane goals, also the aim of some profit. Without that, progress and the functioning of the whole system would not be possible. But if a patient had a feeling that the main goal of the dentist, dental implantologist is his/her profit, he shouldn’t consign his/her health to such a doctor
”Implants are only for millionaires.”
Dental implants are not covered by public funding. They need to be fully covered by the patient himself. Thus, it is obvious that it depends on the motivation of a patient and his/her hierarchy of values what he/she wants to invest in. Dental implants used in particular patients, based on their diagnosis, can be accessible to wider public.