“I broke my front tooth!”
Said an urgent email from my cousin who had recently moved to Europe. Being a dentist, I know just how worrisome that situation can be. His broken tooth couldn’t be saved, and he would need a dental implant right away. Since he couldn’t get back to the states for me to help him, he asked what he should know about dental implants as he searched for a dentist overseas.
Because most people don’t have a dentist in the family who they can ask, here’s what I told my cousin when he was trying to decide whether to get a dental implant.
1. Your recovery and experience might not be the same as other people
You might have already done some research to find out what to expect from a dental implant procedure.
However, getting a dental implant is different for everyone because every implant procedure is unique. Your experience might not be the same as that of your friends or people who wrote about it online.
Every implant procedure has a variety of factors that can completely change the experience for the patient. For some patients, it’s a simple procedure, but for other’s, it can be more involved.
So don’t rely on assumptions and stories to make your decision about getting an implant. The best thing you can do is to work with a proactive dentist who thoroughly explores your unique situation so you know exactly what to expect.
2. Implants have become even more safe and successful because of modern 3D imaging
Standard two dimensional X-ray systems are excellent for many other things, but they don’t show enough detail to plan a dental implant procedure.
Thankfully, modern 3D scans give doctors much more information than standard X-rays. These scans allow the doctor to pick the implant length and shape that will be just right for you, avoid nerves, blood vessels, and sinuses during the procedure, and more.
Because of modern 3D imaging, implants are an amazingly predictable way to replace the teeth you once had. Detailed scan information and a carefully planned and customized implant procedure keep you safe.
3. You have a surprising amount of options about your new teeth
Your options for new teeth are almost endless. It’s almost like picking out a new car. You and your doctor can decide together how the new tooth is attached, whether it is permanent or temporary, and all kinds of other things—although new teeth don’t usually come in quite so many color options as cars do. I’ve yet to meet a patient who preferred fire engine red over pearly white.
Joking aside, like with any serious decision, you have to start with what’s most important to you. What do you need to feel well and meet your personal goals?
Make sure to choose a dentist who takes the time to understand what’s important to you, so you can choose the best options together. After all, it’s your tooth!
4. Your overall health and medication affect the implant
Your medications, health history, and body’s overall health affect the success of an implant procedure. So, make sure to tell your doctor about any and all medicines you are taking and any other health issues.
Make sure to choose a doctor who conducts a thorough health review before you decide about getting an implant. Understanding your whole health is the first step in having a great outcome when you go to replace those missing teeth.
5. Implant pricing can be complicated, so find a doctor who makes everything clear
Implant pricing can be tricky because each procedure might require different steps, tools, implant types, and methods. Many offices have separate pricing for all of those things.
Figuring out whether your insurance covers each item can be complicated. Some dental insurance has a “missing tooth clause” and will not cover an implant if the tooth was extracted prior to when coverage began.
Our dental office avoids these kinds of headaches and makes pricing and insurance coverage easier to figure out. We will give you clear bundle pricing for all of the parts of the process to remove the mystery and complexity, so you feel comfortable and understand exactly what you are getting for your investment
Find Out If a Dental Implant Is Right for You
My cousin ended up getting great care overseas, but he also had the benefit of a dentist in the family advising him through the process. At my own dental practices, we know the implant process can seem mysterious and scary at first, but we’re here to help you feel comfortable and confident in your decision.
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