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Dental Implant Basics – Dental Implants FAQ #4

Here at the Dental Health Blog, our singular goal is to educate and inform our Littleton area community about dental health, best practices among prosthodontists, and the latest news about prosthetic dentistry. With this in mind, here are some basic facts about dental implants: their use and effectiveness as a viable tooth replacement therapy.

Can my regular dentist provide me with dental implants for my tooth replacement therapy?

In theory (and legally) yes, your regular dentist may be able to place dental implants for you. However, as with any medical or dental procedure, training and experience are critical to a successful outcome. Your best bet for long-term success with dental implants is to seek a specialist who has extensive training and experience with the implant procedure, most commonly a prosthodontist. These specialists tend to be far more proficient in tooth replacement therapies, having received a great deal more training in dental implants, aesthetics, and reconstructive dentistry. A "regular" dentist must complete an additional three years of formal training after dental school to receive accreditation as a prosthodontist.

But, aren’t dental implants an experimental tooth replacement treatment?

Placing dental implants is by no means an "experimental" procedure. In fact, the use of dental implants may be the most thoroughly researched tooth replacement therapy in the entire history of dentistry. In fact, though we cannot provide a 100% guarantee of success for all patients, the most recent research has found the success rate for properly placed dental implants is in excess of 95 percent!

Further, dental implants are carefully regulated by the FDA and a number of implant systems have been approved by the ADA (American Dental Association).

Will my insurance pay for my dental implants?

This is a tough one, and the only honest answer is... perhaps. Some health plans will cover dental implants, while other will pay a portion of the costs, and others will pay nothing for what they consider a purely "cosmetic" procedure. On the other hand, if your tooth loss is a result of trauma, due to a car accident for example, one or more of your insurers may be required to pay for the entire procedure, in an effort to make you "whole" again.

It is also possible that your health insurance may consider the use of dental implants as a "restorative" procedure, requiring jaw reconstruction to repair your ability to chew properly and prevent further deterioration of your jaw bone. In cases like this, your insurance may pay for the entire procedure, or for a significant portion. Because of the unpredictability of insurance coverage for dental implants, the staff at CCIPD will diligently research whether or not your insurance will cover the procedure.

It must be said here that not every patient is a viable candidate for dental implants for one reason or another, most commonly due to the amount of bone (or the lack of bone) available at the implant site, and that each patient must be evaluated on an individual basis.

The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implants and Prosthetic Dentistry are your full-service Littleton dental implants specialist and are experts in all types of tooth replacement therapy. If you would like more information on your family’s dental needs, make an appointment today.

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