“Shopping” for dental implants?

Once you and your general dentist have decided that a restoration with a dental implant is the treatment option for you, you are left with an often confusing decision.  Questions like “Should I see a specialist?”, “How much does it cost?”, and “Can I be asleep for the procedure?” often come up.  The answers are somewhat controversial depending on who is giving the answer.  Technically, any dental professional can place dental implants.  However, the degree to which the practitioner is trained in the placement of implants varies greatly among dentists, periodontists, prosthodontists, endodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons.  One of the key differences amongst all the specialties is the management of complications that inevitably arise from these surgical procedures.  An oral and maxillofacial surgeon should be capable of managing any and all complications that could arise.

The question of cost can often be deceiving.  Lots of money is spent advertising low prices for dental implants, but that is not always the end of the story.  Many practitioners will break down the price of the dental implant procedure, so that while the dental implant itself only costs 800-1000 dollars the additional parts and pieces are charged separately raising the total overall cost for the procedure.  There are also different types of dental implants and many different manufacturers that sell cheaper products that a dentist or specialist may choose to use.  The use of “top of the line” implant products has an impact on your overall treatment.  A similar issue is the reputation and guarantee of the product being placed.  If something does go wrong with your implant it is a good idea to know upfront if you will be refunded your money for the implant, or if the replacement of the implant will be done at no cost to you.  That is the standard policy here at our office.  We are able to offer this policy because of the documented high success rates of our dental implants.  Anyone who places dental implants will run into complications from time to time, but it should be reassuring that not only will that complication be managed appropriately but that you will not incur any additional costs.  Make sure you get an estimated cost for the planned treatment from your doctors’ office prior to the undertaking of the procedure.  All of your possible costs and potential treatment needs should be discussed in full during a consultation appointment.

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is also capable of providing sedation and anesthesia for you during your procedure.  People with anxiety about replacing missing teeth with implants can typically undergo the procedure with deep sedation or general anesthesia.  This requires a thorough review of medical history during the consultation appointment but is a very safe and less stressful way to undergo surgical procedures for some patients.  Make sure to tell your referring dentist that you would like sedation or anesthesia for your procedure.  The placement of implants can and is also easily accomplished with local anesthesia (novocaine) as well if you would prefer.  It should be noted that the placement of dental implants and the treatment plans they may be used for also vary greatly.  Certain cases require the use of multiple implants, bone grafting procedures, and lengthy recovery periods.  Implants are utilized on a case by case basis and there is no one system that works in every situation.  A thorough evaluation and discussion of the options for you should be done during the consultation phase.  Feel free to contact our office for a consultation appointment if you are interested in dental implants or any other of our surgical services.