Bethesda, MD, December 15, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Dental implants are the new standard of care for tooth replacement. Seems that dentists are advertising everywhere these days – on the Internet, direct mail and in the media – sometimes making offers that sound too good to be true.
Some dental practices are making claims that an implant can be done in one hour, be accomplished for free or one low fee, and without any pain, bleeding or sutures.
“Many of these advertisements are misleading and do not tell the whole story” said Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi, a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon with offices in Bethesda.
The old rule, “If it's too good to be true, it probably is,” applies to dentistry, too, he said. “When looking for tooth replacement options, do your research, ask questions, and know what you are getting. It’s a lifetime investment and shouldn’t' be taken lightly.”
Dr. Kazemi recommends that patients ask the right questions and look closely at advertising to see what the real picture is before committing to anything.
Here is what you need to know before getting burned by misleading advertising.
"Implant for $1,095; Abutment & Crown for $950; We Guarantee Successful Placement"
This is a very common advertising ploy. It doesn’t tell you the whole story. An implant refers to the post placed in the bone. The abutment is the extension attached to the implant, supporting the crown. Materials for a single tooth replacement with implant alone can often add up to more than $1,950, so advertising an implant for $1,095 either means shoddy materials and dental work, or employing cost cutting corner strategies.
"Implants Starting at $995"
This is the “a-la-cart” approach. Sounds affordable, but here’s the catch: Frequently, every aspect of the treatment, components, materials, and services are itemized. This means, you'll probably pay for the consultation, every X-Ray, every screw, every part, and piece of material used. And this does not include the crown or abutment. In addition, if something happens and an implant has to be replaced, you'll end up paying for it again. Add this to the money-saving strategies discussed above, and you'll see how quickly the costs add up.
This has become a new craze, according to Dr. Kazemi, who calls it a fad. This is when you have your teeth extracted, implants placed, and receive crowns, bridges, or dentures all in one day. Here is the catch: While promising, the science, knowledge, literature, research, and expertise is not sufficient to achieve predictable results in one visit. The approach may be successful, but only in very few candidates who present with no infection around their teeth, have great bone, and all conditions are ideal. Use of this approach in poor candidates results in higher rates of failure and implant loss.
"One-Hour Dental Implants"
This means absolutely nothing. Every patient is different, with varying needs. Treatments can – and should – vary from patient to patient.
“No Pain, No Bleeding, No Sutures”
“Yes, this is possible, but a few things need to occur,” according to Dr. Kazemi. “First of all, there is always some discomfort with an extraction, although mild in most cases.” A surgery without bleeding or sutures means that a dental implant was placed without raising a gum tissue flap. This is absolutely possible. But here’s the catch: The team must use a CT-scan for a 3-D work-up, and fabrication of a special guide to help the surgeon place the implant.
“I have used this technique many times with great success. It does add to the cost, though, often by as much as $750 to $1,000. It is well worth the extra cost if there are multiple implants, compromised bone anatomy, and a need for great accuracy in implant placement. To have no bleeding or suture, without this technology, requires a ‘blind’ implant placement that is difficult and challenging. Even if there is bleeding, it usually stops in a few hours and sutures fall out in few days. I don’t recommend compromising implant positioning and accuracy to avoid slight bleeding and sutures.”
“Free implant with purchase of crown”
This offer suggests that patients get a free dental implant when they pay for your crown. The '”free” offer is a common marketing tactic designed to hook a consumer into trying a product, according to Dr. Kazemi. Here’s the catch: “This suggests that implant placement and the crown are being done by a single ‘superdentist,’ which is a myth. Also, it suggests possible use of no-frills implants and itemizing all other aspects of treatment to make up for the ‘free’ implant cost. This means you'll pay for every X-Ray, part, piece, replacements, etc.” You’ll end up paying the same or more.
The reality is that implants work, said Dr. Kazemi. “They have a more than 98 percent success rate when performed by the right team of dentists that uses quality implants and reputable labs, and when patients are fully informed.”
DC Alliance for Dental Implant Awareness
Dr. H. Ryan Kazemi, 301-654-7070