Never in history have patients been so bombarded by dental marketing. Dentists around the nation promote cosmetic makeovers and implant “teeth-in-a-day”. While this is a legitimate treatment option for a select few; health, genetics, habits, age, desired esthetics and finances may require the doctor to provide alternatives to suit the needs of all patients. With this in mind, patients today have questions! Below are the most frequently asked questions regarding dental implants.
Do I really need dental implants?
People don’t “need” teeth to live. However, beautiful, long-lasting, worry-free teeth make life much more enjoyable. Imagine smiling and eating with confidence! No more self-conscious smiles in family pictures due to missing teeth. No more eating on “your good side”, you know, the side with no dental problems. Imagine, no more ill-fitting dentures!
Doesn’t it hurt and take a long time to heal?
Advances in technology and techniques have significantly improved the patient’s dental implant experience. Computer-guided surgery and laser dentistry allow many procedures to be completed in one day with NO cutting of the gums! This significantly reduces the pain and healing time after the procedure. Most patients are comfortable with simply taking over-the-counter medications for the minimal pain associated with this procedure.
Will I have to go without teeth as I heal?
Sylvia had trouble with her existing partial dentures and was interested in implant therapy. Her main concerns were: not having teeth as she healed, post-treatment pain and healing time.
Incorporating the latest technology and techniques allowed Sylvia to be successfully treated with little discomfort the day of surgery and deliver beautiful teeth the same day.
How many implants do I need?
This varies from patient to patient. A frail 93 year-old female would require less implants than the 40 year-old construction worker twice her size. The goal is to use the least number of implants to achieve what the patient desires without sacrificing durability and predictability of the final outcome.
After a thorough evaluation and a 3-D x-ray, the doctor and patient will consider: health, genetics, habits, age, desired esthetics and finances. After weighing the benefits and limitations of each doctor recommended treatment option; the patient and their family usually decide what’s best for their personal needs whether it be 1, 2, 4, 6 or no implants at all. Patients, with their newfound understanding of dental implants, should be able to make this decision for themselves.
I’m too old for dental implants?
Two months ago Ellen, a 93 year-old patient, came to my office for a second opinion. She had only one tooth remaining in her lower jaw and very little jawbone left to support a denture.
Another doctor had recommended 4-5 implants and a permanent denture for $22,000! Considering her age, we thought this may be over-treatment. We always recommend starting with the least expensive, least invasive treatment. She left our office smiling from ear to ear with 2 implants under a beautiful new denture. When asked if it was worth it Ellen replied: “I can’t believe I didn’t do this 15 years ago!” If otherwise healthy, a patient’s age plays only a practical role in treatment.
Which doctor should do my implants?
Bob was a regular at his dentist friend’s office for years. Bob knew his complex dental needs required a specialist. He wanted his surgery and dentistry done by experienced specialists who treat cases similar to his on a daily basis. His dentist was honest with him and let him know he does not do implant surgery every day and recommended him to our office. He now smiles and eats with confidence only weeks after beginning treatment. We want to work with your current dentist to ensure a healthy long-lasting smile.
Prosthodontists are the only dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association to place and restore implants. They have attended three additional years of post-doctoral training after dental school to perform the surgical placement of dental implants, crowns and/or denture restorations. Confusing appointments and fees between multiple doctors is unnecessary!
When IV sedation and/or complex surgery is required, Dr Cameron Egbert, an Oral/Maxillofacial Surgeon, is available in the office to ensure your safety. Oral Surgeon’s attend an additional four to six years of post-doctoral training after dental school and are trained in anesthesia, management of patients with severe health problems and oral and facial surgery.
It is important to ask what type of training your dentist has when it comes to dental implant treatment. Over half of the patients I see come to me with implant problems that could have been avoided if managed by a specialist from the beginning of treatment. With a combined eleven years practicing the latest and safest techniques, you can rest assured there is no more advanced dental office in Utah to care for your implant needs.
We sincerely hope this helped resolve some of your concerns regarding dental implants.
If you have any other questions please call for a complimentary, no obligation consultation 801-747-8018. You deserve to have your best smile possible!
Dr. Nicholas Egbert D.D.S, M.D.S.