If you’ve lost permanent teeth or have done any research on options for tooth replacement, you’ve probably heard of dental implants. The dental industry’s not-so-secret hidden treasure, dental implants are far and away the best method for replacing missing dentition. Dental implants offer patients several advantages over other traditional dental prosthetics, including:
- Improved stability. Dental implants do not slip, fall out, or require the use of adhesives.
- Longer lasting tooth replacement. Dental implants, when properly placed and taken care of, can last well over 20 years.
- Improved chewing ability. For instance, implant-retained dentures restore about 80-90% of a patient’s chewing ability as opposed to a mere 10-20% restores ability with traditional removable dentures.
- Improved bone health. Because dental implants are surgically inserted into the jaw, they continue to stimulate the bone just like a natural tooth root would, resulting in the maintenance of healthy bone density.
Clearly, dental implants provide an ideal solution to adult tooth loss. However, it’s easy to make mistakes along the way toward receiving your new smile that could significantly impact the success of your implants. Today, Dr. James Fondriest, your dentist serving Winnetka IL, discusses a few common mistakes consumers make when considering dental implants and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Performing Adequate Research
It’s a simple principle: well-informed consumers make wiser decisions when it comes to the products and services they buy. Before purchasing a car, you would probably research what types of cars best suit your specific needs and budget as well as which dealerships have a good customer service record before you ever visited a lot. Patients interested in undergoing dental implant placement would be smart to go through a similar process. Basic information you need to know includes:
- What can you expect from the procedure and healing process?
- How much does the procedure cost and will your insurance plan cover any part of it?
- Are there any qualified providers of dental implants in your area?
- Are there medical conditions or lifestyle factors that may affect whether you qualify for dental implants?
Once you have gathered the information you need, you can more accurately determine whether or not dental implants are right for you. Dr. Fondriest also strongly recommends you sit down for a consultation with at least two dental implant providers or restorative dentists in your area. This will serve the dual purpose of getting to know whether you like one provider better than the other and it will help you to avoid making incorrect assumptions such as . . .
Mistake #2: Assuming You Don’t Qualify for Dental Implants
A few basic internet searches will yield a wealth of general information about dental implants and who qualifies for them. A great deal of online information on dental implants, while accurate, will often generalize. For instance, in general, people with reduced jawbone density, chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease, or people with poor oral hygiene or who smoke or chew tobacco products do not qualify for dental implants. However, these circumstances do not absolutely take you out of the running for implants.
Again, your best bet if you have a pre-existing medical condition or a lifestyle factor that might affect your chances, schedule a consultation with a respected dental implant provider or restorative dentist. In some cases, an auxiliary procedure, such as a bone graft, can help you receive dental implants. In other cases, lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking or taking consistent care of your teeth and gums might help you qualify for dental implants.
Mistake #3: Falling for Offers that are Too Good to be True
Fast implants! Discount implants! As you research your options, you may run across some dental implant offers that seem to promise amazing results in half the time and at half the cost. Unfortunately, when it comes to dental implants, if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. In reality, dental implants are expensive and the procedure is lengthy. If an implant provider promises to slash costs or dramatically reduce the time involved, you can almost bet that they are compromising quality of care and quality of materials. Opting for cheap, fast dental implants can result in a higher risk of complications such as loosened implants, loosened or ill-fitting prosthetics (the crown or denture that’s attached to the implant), and painful implant sites.
Locate a provider you trust. If cost is an issue, most reputable implant and restorative dentists offer flexible financing options or work with third-party financing companies who can accommodate your budget. If length of treatment is an issue, try and take the long view: sure, dental implants may take several months to complete, but you’ll be able to enjoy a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile for years and years.
Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation with Your Winnetka, IL Dentist
To schedule a consultation and learn if dental implants are right for you, contact us at (847) 234-0517. A 60045 dentist, Dr. James Fondriest is a respected regional authority on restorative dentistry and prosthodontics, and he works with a team of qualified oral surgeons and periodontists to help his patients receive the highest quality dental implants available. Our dentist office proudly serves patients from the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, including Winnetka.