Differentiating Quality from Price in Oral Surgery

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Here at Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we know better than anyone that cost is one of the main concerns our patients have regarding oral surgery. It is no secret that medical care, particularly elective procedures, can be costly. For this reason, it is not uncommon for patients to search for the least expensive option possible to save money. Unfortunately, when it comes to medicine and dentistry, the least expensive option may often result in settling for less than the best care. While you may be able to find a general dentist or other professional who will perform your oral surgery procedure at a lower price, the reason why so many general dentists refer patients to oral surgeons is because oral surgeons receive more training and have more experience with these procedures.

Take some of the most common procedures performed in our office: wisdom teeth extractions. In addition to earning a dental degree, oral surgeons are required to complete a four- to seven-year residency program in a teaching hospital where they gain hands-on experience performing oral surgery. While other dental practitioners may obtain the same dental degree as an oral surgeon, they usually lack the experience and additional training required to extract wisdom teeth proficiently. Oral surgeons also routinely remove wisdom teeth and, therefore, have the experience that most patients want. Improper removal of wisdom teeth can lead to severe swelling, nerve injury, broken jaw, sinus exposure or a prolonged healing period following treatment. Beyond that, the majority of general dentists would not be comfortable offering IV sedation, which has been touted as the most comfortable way for a patient to have their wisdom teeth removed. Fortunately, oral surgeons train alongside medical anesthesiologists during their hospital-based residency to provide patients with a safe sedation experience.

Dental implants improve your oral health by restoring not only missing teeth but also your ability to properly chew, which consequently results in improvement of your digestion and overall health. Many people are unaware that missing teeth can lead to bone loss in the jaw and cause a myriad of other issues including painful TMJ problems. When done correctly, dental implants can last a lifetime, making it extremely important for this procedure to be completed by the most qualified provider, which is why you want to see the most qualified oral surgeon for this type of procedure. Ensuring that your dental implants are placed by an experienced oral surgeon could actually save you money because you are less likely to incur additional expenses caused by incorrect placement and subsequent prosthesis failure. Working with an oral surgeon ensures that you are receiving the highest quality possible for optimal long-term results.

Some patients resort to medical tourism, traveling to a foreign country, for the placement of dental implants in an effort to reduce the cost of the procedure. However, most qualified practitioners would advise against this for many reasons including the uncertainty of the person’s credentials and a lack of quality post-operative care. After dental implant surgery, it is vital to carefully follow all post-operative instructions and take all medications as instructed; medical tourism makes it difficult to follow up with your doctor should you have any post-operative questions or complications.

While it may be tempting to look for the most cost-efficient option when considering oral surgery, it is strongly advised that you refrain from selecting your provider based on cost alone. Doing so may put you at risk for complications during treatment caused by insufficient training or unsafe practice. If you are interested in obtaining more information about our oral surgery services and the level of training of the surgical team in our practice, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you have and schedule a consultation with our experienced oral surgeon.

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Who Should Pull Wisdom Teeth?

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Wisdom Teeth Issues?

For wisdom tooth extractions, the best option is always an oral surgeon!
So you need to have your wisdom teeth removed. Now what?

These days, most people first turn to the Internet for information, typing in such common queries as

“How are wisdom teeth removed” or “Reasons for removing wisdom teeth.”

Next, most patients look online for a surgeon or call their local dentist.

But there is one question that often goes unasked, and it may be the most important question of all: Who should perform wisdom tooth removal surgery?

Theoretically, both general dentists and oral surgeons are able to perform wisdom teeth extractions. But only oral surgeons are the true experts on the procedure, having completed a four-year residency, followed by performing wisdom teeth removals daily in their office. There is no substitution for experience.

By contrast, there is no such training in dental school for general dentists and very few places at all where extensive training can be found afterward.

Then there’s the issue of anesthesia. Most people would agree that wisdom teeth extractions are much more comfortable for patients when they are under general anesthesia, rather than just local anesthesia (numbing). And administering general anesthesia is something oral surgeons, not dentists, are thoroughly trained to do.

Unfortunately, a few dentists have been disregarding this fact and administering general anesthesia themselves, occasionally leading to terrible, even tragic, consequences. Anesthesia is perfectly safe when administered by someone who is properly trained, such as an oral surgeon – but it can be deadly if not administered in exactly the right way.

An impacted wisdom tooth should always be dealt with promptly, as it can lead to complications such as pain and infection. But how it is dealt with, and by whom, matters. Any dentist in your neighborhood will be able to refer you to an oral surgeon – someone fully qualified to remove your wisdom teeth while making sure the extraction process is quick, painless and entirely safe.

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Indianapolis Dental Implants Price and Cost Guide

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One of the very first questions people have about dental implants always seems to be “How much do dental implants cost?” This can be a tough question to answer.

There are so many variables and every dental implant placement surgery is unique. However, we will do our best here to provide the best dental implant pricing guide we can.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The decision to get dental implants takes a different path for each individual. Jane may be a long time denture wearer who is tired of dealing with loose dentures and is interested in permanent dentures supported by dental implants. John may have lost a tooth in a pickup basketball game, catching a stray elbow to the mouth. Mary has a failed dental bridge that was replacing three missing teeth and cannot fathom wearing a removable partial denture. While all three are candidates for dental implants to replace their missing teeth, they will need vastly different treatment plans to get their smiles back.

Another factor that makes answering the question, “How much do dental implants cost?” is the fact that each dental implant surgery is different. Everyone has a unique anatomy, different oral health factors and even different anesthesia preferences that make a “one size fits all” approach to the cost of dental implants almost impossible to universally define and should be avoided.
Here is a list of some of the common factors that may affect the cost of dental implants in your particular case:

  • The number of dental implants required
  • The location of the missing teeth to be replaced (i.e. front teeth or molars)
  • Is there a high “Smile Line”
  • The number of teeth that need to be extracted before implants can be placed
  • Whether bone grafting will need to be performed to support the implants
  • The complexity of the bone grafting procedure that may need to be performed
  • Local anesthetic vs. I.V. sedation
  • The overall restorative plan, i.e. single tooth, Implant bridge, removable “snap in/out” denture or permanent denture.
  • Whether stock restorative parts can be used or rather custom made parts are used (our preference)
  • Whether your dentist uses a laboratory in the US or China (many US dentists send their work to China because it costs them less)

In addition to all these factors you still have to factor in the amount of assistance you will be receiving from your dental insurance provider.

Dr. Falender has been successfully placing dental implants in the Indianapolis area since 1987. And after placing thousands of implants in thousands of patients he has an expert understanding of the cost of dental implants in Indianapolis. As you can see, however, there are many factors that go into the price of a new smile.

Dental implants require two distinct, but related phases. The surgical phase and the restorative phase. Dr. Falender handles the surgical procedures and works closely with your dentist (or a dentist we recommend) in making sure the final outcome is what our patients want. In addition, each doctor does what they do best. At the one-stop shop, you may very well get someone who does not excel at either the surgery or the restorative procedures.

Consider What Makes Up The Cost of Dental Implants

  • The number of extractions needed.
  • Whether bone grafting is needed.
  • The cost of the dental implant.
  • The final restoration from a dentist.
  • What your true cost will be after insurance is considered.

Most of all, remember that it can be misleading to only look at cost and decide to choose your provider based on a number alone. Experience, board certification and your overall comfort level with your surgeon are factors that are difficult to assign a dollar value to, but may be key factors in the success of your dental implant procedure.

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