Tooth Talk: How do I go about getting an implant?

Q: I’m interested in getting implants to replace my denture. I’ve seen a few dentists and a couple of specialists for quotes. I’m hesitant to go ahead because all of them have different prices and different plans and each of them insist theirs is the best. How can I decide what’s best for me?

A: The decision to get dental implants will likely have a great impact on your life. It can affect your eating, speech, and even your social life.

As people are living longer, dentures and partials are no longer considered useful long-term solutions for tooth loss. You have every right to be reluctant about such an important decision.

There are a few important considerations you must take into account. Similarly, there are important factors that your doctor must consider when planning your treatment. I’m speaking about goals and also finances.

Your goal and that of your doctor should be in sync as well as feasible in order to have a successful outcome. It is the planning stage of implant treatment that is the most vital. It must be thoroughly and meticulously planned.

Today, implant treatment is one of the most successful types of dentistry that we can perform. However, if corners are cut and planning hasn’t been done properly the success rate drops drastically. This planning stage should definitely involve a CAT scan. This is now the standard of care when planning implant treatment. It allows the doctor to see a three dimensional view of the bone. By utilizing this tool the doctor can assess the quality of the bone, its density as well as height and width. This is vitally important and an x-ray is not adequate for implant treatment. Anyone you see for implant treatment should require you have a CAT scan. If they don’t, ask them why. If they say it’s not necessary, run, don’t walk out of their office.

Another vital part of the plan is your financial capabilities. The cost as well as type of implant treatment can vary widely. It is your job as the patient to determine the financial framework with which you need to work. This is extremely important because again cutting corners will significantly lessen the success of your treatment.

Sharing your goals and financial capabilities with your doctor will enable them to provide you with a treatment plan that will work for both of you.

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Questions can be sent to Fred Eck, D.D.S. at Marco Dental Care, 950 N. Collier Blvd., Suite 305, Marco Island, or call 389-9400. Web site: marcodentalcare.com. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Detroit Mercy and is licensed by the Florida State Board of Dentistry.

© 2008 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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