Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. They look natural, give you the same function as natural teeth, and they can last a lifetime with just normal dental care: brushing, flossing, and making regular dental visits.
But there are many obstacles that might keep people from getting dental implants, including dental phobia. This is unfortunate, because people with dental phobia are also more likely to have oral health problems that can lead to tooth loss.
The Cycle of Dental Phobia
Dental phobia can be very destructive because it creates a reinforcing cycle that leads to poor oral and overall health.
People with dental phobia often avoid routine dental care because of their fear. They resist going to the dentist until it becomes absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, when they do decide to get treatment, they need more invasive dental treatments that can be unpleasant. This reinforces their fear of the dentist, so they are more likely to avoid dental care in the future.
As a result, people with dental phobia are more likely to have decayed and missing teeth. Which means that they are more likely to need dental implants.
Are Dental Implants Worth It for Phobic Patients?
Phobic patients have to overcome their fear to get dental implants. Placing dental implants is a relatively invasive procedure, which can cause even some non-phobic patients to balk. Phobic patients need help such as sedation dentistry to overcome their phobia, but is it worth it if they do?
That’s what researchers hoped to find out. They followed 82 patients who got complete implant dentures. Of these patients, 38 could not be reached for follow-up (4 had died for causes unrelated to the implants, and 34 didn’t respond). Nearly all that were reached (43 of 44) agreed to answer questions about their implant dentures.
Of these, 95% were satisfied with their treatment, 96% would recommend the treatment to a friend or family member, and 97% would undergo the treatment again.
That is a very strong statement from patients who have been bound all their lives by dental phobia. Though these patients would prefer to avoid a dentist their whole lives, almost all of them would choose to get implant dentures again.
What’s Keeping You from Getting Dental Implants?
This study shows us again something that should be very clear about dental implants: they are worth it. Whether we are looking at questions of cost, time investment, or overcoming obstacles like dental phobia, the answer is always the same: dental implants are worth the trouble.
But we understand that saying this isn’t always as easy as acting on it. That’s why we have a dental practice that welcomes people with every kind of concern. We can make you feel welcome, help you understand the procedure, and can offer you support to overcome anxiety and other issues that are stopping you from getting dental implants.