Differentiating Quality from Price in Oral Surgery

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.