Dental implants aren’t exactly a new technology. Although they’re constantly evolving, they’ve actually been around for more than 50 years, although they’ve only been approved for use in the US for about half that time.
However, a new study shows that most people still don’t know much about dental implants. And that’s a shame, because dental implants are the best tooth replacement option, and what they don’t know can’t help them.
Dental Clinic Patients Don’t Know Implants
This study was conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), based on patients at their dental clinic. The study used two groups of patients, 50 that were at the clinic to be evaluated for dental implants and 76 others that were there for emergency dental care.
Among the emergency dental care group, about 25% of those surveyed didn’t even know about the existence of dental implants. And those that did know about dental implants didn’t know what they were made of. About 60% of these patients thought they were made of porcelain.
Perhaps most importantly, the emergency room patients didn’t know how long dental implants last. About 10% of them thought implants lasted five years or less, and only 30% thought they could last 20 years or more.
For those patients getting screened for dental implants, the knowledge level was much higher. Around 70% of them identified titanium as the substance used for dental implants. And they had a good idea of the durability of dental implants. None of them said implants lasted five years or less, and 49% said they could last 20 years or more.
Where Did Patients Get Their Information
Since these two groups of patients had very different information about dental implants, it seems reasonable to wonder where they were getting their information. Patients in the implant consultation group (I) had very different sources for their information than emergency patients (E). They reported their primary source of information as:
- Dentist I: 54% E: 22%
- Internet I: 30% E: 20%
- Friends or relatives I: 22% E:38%
- Television I: 14% E: 21%
- Newspaper or Magazine I: 6% E: 2%
This shows where people are most likely to get the best information. Your dentist, of course, is the most reliable source of information about all dental procedures, including dental implants. It’s perhaps surprising that the Internet would be the second most common source of information for implant patients, but the truth is that there is a lot of good information on the Internet about dental procedures (for example: this blog).
On the other hand, friends and relatives, and TV are not good sources of information about dental procedures.
Cost Is a Common Barrier
However, there is one thing that the two groups of patients agreed on: the primary obstacle to getting dental implants. Both groups identified cost as the thing that was the biggest challenge to getting dental implants, with about 90% of each group picking this option.
The good news is that cost doesn’t have to be a barrier to dental implants. We have many financial options that can help make dental implants affordable.
If you want to learn the true story about dental implants in Wilmington, NC, we invite you to schedule a consultation with implant dentist Dr. Michael Kuzma at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry. Please call (910) 392-6060 today for an appointment.