Medical experts reveal the most misunderstood dental terms… and explain what they really mean
A team of doctors associated with Qunomedical have compiled a list of frequently misunderstood or unknown dental terms as reported by their patients.
The experts have debunked misunderstood dental terms, helping to separate ongoing myths from the real facts.
Dental myths debunked:
- The longevity of veneers, crowns and implants
Myth: Several patients believe veneers, crowns and implants last a lifetime.
Debunked: Each dental treatment has a different lifespan.
Veneers tend to last around 10-15 years; crowns tend to last 15-20 years and implants will last a lifetime.
- The difference between veneers and crowns
Myth: Patients often do not know the difference between veneers and crowns
Debunked: Veneers are thin veneer shells made of ceramic or a ceramic-plastic composite that are bonded to the natural teeth using a special adhesive.
Veneers are typically applied to healthy teeth for aesthetic reasons.
This does not mean that there is no preparation of the teeth involved, such as removing decay and placing a filling.
However, in general, all teeth undergoing veneer treatment are healthy but need to be reshaped to avoid a bulky appearance.
Veneers can often be used to cover tooth discolorations, small gaps between teeth, and minor misalignments or chipped edges.
A dental crown, however, is an artificially created replica of the natural tooth crown, which is attached to the previously prepared tooth using a special cement.
Crowns are used in cases of damaged teeth, such as severe tooth decay or a broken tooth. Such damage cannot be treated with a simple filling or inlays.
The material used may vary in appearance and price, but the goal is the same: to restore the function and feeling of a healthy tooth by placing the dental crown over the damaged tooth.
- Veneers do not include teeth shaving
Myth: Patients continue to think veneer treatments do not include teeth shaving.
Debunked: Veneer procedure includes shaving a small amount of your teeth.
Precision tools are used to remove the outer layer of enamel from the teeth being treated.
This process is known as ‘shaving down’ and it’s important to know that your dentist will only shave down enough enamel so that your veneers don’t look bulky once they’re fitted.
- Bone grafting needs to be separate with transplanting implants
Myth: Dental patients think that bone grafting needs to be separate with transplanting implants, with around a six-month gap between the two.
Debunked: Bone grafting is a dental procedure that involves adding volume and density to your jaw. In other words it is a replacement for your bone.
Bone grafting and implant transplantation can be done in one sitting.
Minor bone grafting usually takes one hour to one hour 30 minutes.
The gum is normally lifted away from the bone where you need treatment, this way a professional can then see the amount of bone that is needed.
Bone grafting and dental implants are often for people who need a single tooth or several teeth replacing.
It can also be for people who need to replace a denture with a bridge supported on several implants.
- Patients think dental implants are a quick process
Myth: Patients believe dental implants are performed in one sitting and within less than a week they can go back to their normal daily routine.
Debunked: Whilst the placement of a dental implant usually takes around 1-2 hours, it then takes approximately 4-6 months for your gums to heal.
Only after this period are the new, real teeth then inserted, during the period in between this, temporary teeth are used.
Therefore, it is recommended to try not to disturb the implanted area with your tongue or fingers and only consume soft food and a high protein diet for the first week after surgery to help with the healing process.