Frequently Asked Dentistry Questions
Patient education is an extremely important component of what we provide here at The DFW Dental Implant Center, because the more a patient knows about their teeth, the healthier they usually are! Below, we’ve compiled answers to some of the most common questions we receive every day. You can always give us a call if there is anything else you’d like to know--just consider our team your go-to resource for all things dental-related!
How Often Should I See A Dentist?
The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning. Based on individual needs, some patients should be seen more frequently.
What Should I Expect During My First Appointment?
Dr. Branberg will review your medical and dental history, listen to your dental concerns and discuss any previous dental experiences that you would like to share, and perform a thorough dental and radiographic examination of your mouth. After reviewing your dental profile, he will present several treatment options that are available to meet your specific dental needs and the fees associated with each option to determine the correct treatment for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium post that functions as an artificial root or an anchor. Standard dental implants are typically 3 to 6 mm in diameter and 6 to 16 mm in length. The dental implant connects directly to a stock or custom abutment, which then connects directly to a single implant crown, implant bridge, implant denture or full-arch fixed bridge to replace one or more missing teeth.
Mini-implants are typically 2-3 mm in diameter and 10 to 14 mm in length. Since mini-implants are narrower than a standard implant, their use if limited. They are indicated in areas with poor bone quantity where bone grafting is not an option or is contraindicated, to serve as a temporary solution to maintain a fixed temporary crown or bridge, or to help retain an implant denture.
What Is An Abutment?
An abutment is titanium, zirconia, or gold base that connects the crown, bridge or denture to the implant. The most common abutments are:
- Prefabricated or Stock Abutment – A titanium or zirconia abutment, which is fabricated by the manufacturer to attach a single crown or bridge to the implant(s). Since these are mass produced, they range from $350-450 per abutment.
- Custom Abutment – A titanium or zirconia abutment, which is custom made in the lab to attach a single crown or bridge to the implant(s). Since these are custom designed and made, they range from $600 to $850 per abutment.
- Locator® Abutment – A titanium abutment that connects to the dental implant and allows the implant denture to “snap” into place. They range from $500 to $550 per abutment.
- Multi-Unit Abutment (MUA) – A straight or angled titanium abutment that connects an All-On-4® prosthesis or a full-arch fixed bridge to the implants. They range from $350 to $500 per abutment.
Will I Need A Bone Graft?
After a tooth is removed, the blood supply that was fueling the bone surrounding the root is decreased. This lack of blood flow causes the bone to reabsorb as it heals over the next few months. Depending on the length of time the tooth has been missing and the amount of bone reabsorption that has occurred, there may be inadequate bone available to house a dental implant. If this is the case, a bone graft will be necessary to increase the amount of available bone. After 4 to 6 months of new bone formation, a dental implant can be placed.
How Much Does Dental Implant Treatment Cost?
There is no hiding the fact that dental implants are expensive. When attempting to explain why they are so expensive, it is necessary to understand that the patient is not buying a product, but rather a service. It is very easy to forget this fact when searching for the lowest price. Dental implants are “medical devices” implanted into living tissue, which is home to nerves, blood vessels, and sinuses. The precise placement of dental implants is not something to take likely… it is both an art and a science.
A dental implant has the potential to last a lifetime. This is wonderful when the implant is positioned well. Unfortunately, if the implant is poorly positioned, this can lead to an unfavorable esthetic outcome, increased bone loss around the dental implant and/or peri-implantitis (inflammation of the gums around the implant), which can lead to implant failure. Because the oral cavity is such a small surgical environment, as little as a 2-millimeter error can be the difference between success and failure. The removal of a poorly placed implant is difficult, bone destroying and expensive. Who performs your dental implant treatment directly affects your chances of success.
Beware of those dental offices advertising a standard dental implant for $999. At this price, one can assume that this high-volume dental office is more concerned with production than the quality of the service provided. Implant dentistry requires advanced education, patience, and caution. It should not be performed in a rush and on a high-volume basis. When one considers all of the above factors, the cost seems a little less important.
- Single Implant Crown $3,500 to $6,000
- Implant Bridges $7,500 to $10,000
- Implant Dentures $7,000 to $15,000
- All-On-4® Treatment Concept $17,5000 to $20,000
- Full-Arch PFZ Fixed Bridge $20,000 to $25,000
- Mini-Implants $1,500 per dental implant + denture
Will My Insurance Pay For My Dental Implants?
Most PPO dental insurance plans will cover up to 50% of the dental implant, abutment, and crown up to your yearly maximum. If your dental insurance plan does not cover the placement of the dental implant, your insurance will most likely cover to have the abutment and crown placed. Bone grafting procedures are covered by fewer dental insurance companies. This may be an out-of-pocket expense. You can call your dental insurance provider and ask if dental implants are a covered procedure. If you need help with your dental insurance, please call our dental office at (817) 489-3331 for assistance.
Are Payment Plans Available For My Dental Treatment?
We do not offer any in-office payment plans, but we do accept CareCredit as an option to make monthly payments to a third-party. The interest rates are very competitive and are interest free for up to 12 months. We accept all major PPO dental insurance plans, including Delta Dental, Cigna, and MetLife to name a few. If you need help understanding your insurance plan or want us to file a claim on your behalf, please let us know and we will be glad to do that. We also accept cash, checks, and the following credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. If you have any further questions, please call our dental office at (817) 489-3331.
Will It Hurt?
Most dental implant procedures involve less discomfort than a tooth extraction. When we see our patients for follow up visits, most of them tell us how surprised they were with how little discomfort they had after the surgery!!!
Our dental office is equipped with a doctor and staff trained to safely provide conventional methods of anesthesia as well as a variety of oral and intravenous sedation options to provide comfort and relieve anxiety.
How Long Will It Take?
Dental implant treatment typically ranges from 4 to 6 months depending on the complexity of the case. If a separate bone grafting procedure is required, then treatment can be delayed an additional 4 to 6 months as new bone is formed. Unlike other dental procedures, most of this time is spent waiting for new bone to form within the graft or for the bone to integrate with the implant.
Will I Be Without My Teeth?
Our goal at The DFW Dental Implant Center is to provide every patient with a fixed temporary crown or bridge on the day of surgery. During the initial clinical and radiographic examination, the amount of bone available, the number of teeth remaining, and the bite force that may be applied to the dental implants as they heal are evaluated to determine if you are a good candidate for an immediate fixed temporary prosthesis. If the risks outweigh the benefits, then removable teeth are provided on the day of surgery. Either way, you will not be without teeth as we complete treatment.
Are Dental Implants As Strong As Natural Teeth?
Yes. In many cases, implants are actually considered stronger than natural teeth and provide full functionality. After treatment, you will be able to enjoy all of your favorite foods while benefiting from healthy, aesthetically-pleasing prosthetic replacement teeth.
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
Implants have been successfully placed since the 1950s. With ongoing technological advancements and more durable implant materials, ten-year success rates have been reported at 93 percent or better.
Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants?
Anyone who is healthy enough to undergo a tooth extraction is likely a suitable candidate for dental implants. However, there are certain contraindications that may complicate or prohibit dental implant treatment. Patients with certain conditions, such as chronic diseases, uncontrolled diabetes, heavy smoking or alcohol abuse may not be candidates for dental implants. Dr. Branberg will determine whether or not this treatment is right for you after a complete physical exam and evaluation of your medical history.
Is Age A Factor?
No, there are no age restrictions for dental implants.