Every day I meet people who come to me seeking solutions for missing teeth, infected teeth, dentures, or who simply want to improve their smile. Dental implants almost always come into the discussion. Over the years, I regularly see certain misconceptions repeat themselves.
Dental implants may be placed by any dentist who holds a license. They are not a specialty. Typically, they are placed by general dentists, oral surgeons, periodontists, and prosthodontists. It’s not so important as to what type of dentist places them, but rather how much training and experience they have. Also, don’t forget that there is a second part to the implant once it is placed, one or more teeth have to be placed on top of the implant. If an implant is placed while ignoring this second part of the treatment, disastrous results may follow, such as bone loss, implant loss, fracture, and poor esthetics. I have had to correct situations like this too often.
When comparing fees, be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Your situation may be different than your friend’s. Some conditions to evaluate include: 1) Is a tooth already present where the implant needs to be placed? This will require more work and materials. 2) Is there enough bone present, or is grafting required to grow the bone? 3) Location in the mouth is very important. An implant in the front of the mouth has a much higher esthetic demand than the back of the mouth. This will affect cost as well. The more ideal the situation, the lower the cost.
When a tooth has been diagnosed with a very poor prognosis, it is not always better to hang onto it. Recurring infections can develop which cost time and money, the disease can affect adjacent teeth, and over time, they can cause additional bone loss. Removing infected teeth and placing an implant can eliminate the recurring infections, restore health to adjacent teeth, and preserve bone in your jaw.
This is not true. Although problems with implants are rare, they require observation and maintenance. Most of the time problems will develop within the first two years. Failure to recognize and correct these problems often leads to implant loss, and worse, loss of adjacent teeth. Expect to return to the dentist 3 to 4 times within the first two years for maintenance.