I talked to my dentist about getting dental implants. He told me about what they’d cost and then sent me to a periodontist. After my visit with the periodontist, the price he quoted me was almost double. When I questioned him about it, he said his price included bone grafting and that could be the difference but he couldn’t be sure why my other dentist quoted such a low price. Does this seem legitimate or am I being taken?
In ideal situations, dental implants are placed in two phases. The first phase entails the surgical process of implanting the prosthetic tooth root. After the surgical site has had time to heal and the bone has had time to form around the implant, then it is time for the second phase, which is the implant crown.
Notice that I said the bone needs to form around the implant. This is called osseointegration and is absolutely essential for the success of the implant. It is what secures it in your jaw. Sometimes, there isn’t enough jaw bone there for that to take place.
It used to be when that was the case it just meant you were not going to be able to get a dental implant and would have to get another, less ideal, procedure such as a dental bridge or removable partial dentures. Advancements no longer make that true. Now you can have bone grafted into your jawbone enabling you to have implants.
This is likely what is going on with you. When the periodontist did the x-rays, he realized you lacked sufficient bone. By recognizing that and planning the grafting he’s giving you the best chance at a successful procedure.
Getting a Second Opinion
You should know it is always okay to get a second opinion, especially in invasive medical procedures. When getting a second opinion it is very important you don’t tell them what the first dentist/periodontist said. You want their opinion without the influence of someone else’s diagnosis.
If they’re both saying you will need grafting done, you can be sure you do. As for the cost factor, you should know this procedure is usually paid for in two stages—the surgical stage and the crown stage. With you needing bone grafting, that will probably be three stages. That may help with the payments because you can divide them up.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Dr. Drake and Wallace.