Are Affordable Dental Implants a Safe Option?

I recently saw an ad for an office that specializes in affordable dental implants. I have several teeth that are missing, but my own dentist quoted me at several thousand dollars each to have them replaced a few years ago. Given the cost, I just went ahead and had him make a partial denture, but I still want a permanent solution. I mentioned the affordable implants ad to a few of my friends and they all said it was a bad idea- that I’ll wind up with a dentist who wants to use me as a guinea pig or something. Everything I can find online says it’s safe, but that I need to verify the doctor’s level of experience. Nothing tells me how much experience he’s supposed to have or what I’m supposed to ask about specifically. Can you please advise?

Thank you,

Morgan in Ohio

Dear Morgan,

Affordable dental implants can vary as much as the dentist who is performing the restorations. As you speak with dentists, you may find that they’re really:

  • Placing Mini-Implants
  • Performing All-on-Fours
  • Using Sub-Standard Parts
  • Inexperienced
  • Genuinely Knowledgeable and Skilled
  • Using Discounts to Encourage New Patients to Join the Practice

The only way you’ll know exactly what’s motivating your doctor, or allowing him to provide the discount, is to ask. If they don’t have standard-sized posts or they can be done in one visit, he’s probably using the minis. If it’s a combo procedure with a denture, it’s probably something along the lines of all-on-fours. Ask him if the parts have FDA approval. If not, they might not meet American guidelines for durability and sterility.

In regard to experience level, any dentist can call himself an “Affordable Dental Implant Specialist.” It doesn’t mean he has more experience than a doctor who says he performs the procedure or offers the service. Ask where he went to school to learn the procedure, as well as how many hours he’s spent studying it. If he’s spent at least a couple-hundred hours, it’s safe to say he’s had the training, but that doesn’t mean he has the skill. To determine this, ask him how many procedures he has done and what his success rate is. Generally speaking, implants have a 98% success rate. If he’s close to that, you should be able to feel comfortable receiving services from him.

This post is sponsored by Atlanta cosmetic dentist Flax Dental.

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Posted in: Affordable Dental Implants

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