Common dental myths can keep people from taking care of their teeth adequately. Ultimately, dental neglect has a negative impact on their quality of life. Here are nine myths that patients have expressed to us in our prosthodontic practice.
I don’t need to go to the dentist unless I have a problem with a tooth.
Just because your teeth feel and look fine does not mean that no problem exists. Tooth decay can occur in areas that are not visible. A comprehensive evaluation including x-rays and a clinical exam is the only way to ensure that your teeth are healthy.
It is easier and less expensive to correct a dental problem when it is diagnosed early. This is why it is important for you to see your dentist for regular oral hygiene cleanings and exams at least twice a year. A meticulous dental care regimen, both at home and in-office, is necessary in maintaining your healthy mouth.
I don’t need to take care of my teeth because I am not young anymore.
Patients have said that they don’t know how long they are going to live, so they don’t think that investing in their dental health should be a priority. Your quality of life is important at every age and dental health is a significant factor. The ability to chew and enjoy food is fundamental and of monumental importance for your overall health as well as enjoyment of life. People of all ages can have healthy teeth with full function.
I don’t need to go to the dentist or get dental check-ups because I have dentures.
People with removable dentures need to have regular dental checkups. These checkups help to ensure that gum tissues remain healthy. Oral cancer screening is part of a routine dental examination. Your dentist will check for mouth sores caused by rubbing of loose or ill-fitting dentures. These mouth sores can quite uncomfortable and, in some cases, can cause infection.
The absence of teeth can cause bone loss. This bone loss can make your dentures loose and difficult to wear. When this occurs, your dentist will determine if the denture needs to be relined or remade.
If I don’t have teeth, I don’t have dental problems.
This is a fallacy. Some people believe that they can function adequately without teeth or dentures. When the jaw bones are not stimulated by natural teeth, bone loss occurs. This bone loss gives the face a sunken and aged appearance causing people to look significantly older than they are. It’s impossible to eat food properly without teeth, leading to digestive problems. It is also hard to speak clearly without teeth.
When I use lots of denture adhesive, my dentures fit just fine.
A well-fitting denture will not require dental adhesive. Otherwise, it needs to be relined or remade. “Patients who have ill-fitting dentures are also great candidates for dental implants,” states Dr. Rob Slauch, prosthodontist at Pi Dental Center.
Zirconia is not a metal.
Today, many patients are concerned about metal allergy and believe that zirconia is a non-metal alternative for dental implants. The fact is zirconia actually is a metal on the table of elements. Zirconium is a chemical element with atomic number 40, located in group 4 from the periodic chart of elements.
In addition, titanium has proven to be one of the most bio-compatible materials used for dental implants. True allergy to titanium is very rare. A MELISA test can determine if you have an allergy to titanium.
Dr. Kyle Stanley and Dr. Matt Nejad thoroughly explained the difference between zirconia and metal implants in an article that they wrote in April 2019. Click here to read article.
I had my teeth completely restored, so I don’t need to go to the dentist anymore.
Insure your investment by taking care of your new teeth. For most dental implant patients, we recommend oral hygiene cleanings every 4 months. A dental implant supported prosthesis and surrounding gum tissue needs to be professionally cleaned of debris. Failure to do so can result in bone loss which can lead to implant failure.
“As prosthodontists, this is one of the most frequent things that I hear. Routine maintenance is imperative to keep your investment of a new smile lasting a long time,” says Dr. Slauch.
I have crowns, so I cannot get cavities again.
A crown is a non-removable restoration that covers a major portion of the visible part of a natural tooth. Many people believe that once they have a crown, they can never get a cavity. This is not the case. The area around the base of the crown, called the margin, can be susceptible to decay. Crowns need to be carefully cleaned to avoid decay and assure they will last for many years.
They are only teeth.
There are so many reasons why your teeth are important. Your dental health impacts your whole body. Poor dental health can contribute to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. During pregnancy, periodontal disease can contribute to premature birth, low birth weight and even miscarriage. There is a link between osteoporosis and periodontitis. Periodontal disease can make lung conditions worse.
What’s the takeaway? It is clear that following a rigorous oral hygiene regimen along with regular dental office visits helps to ensure a healthy mouth and dental health positively affects your overall health. A nice smile with healthy attractive teeth increases your confidence. Feel free to give us a call if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment.