Making the choice to receive a dental implant involves personal feelings about comfort and appearance, consideration of future dental health as well as a commitment of time and money. Treatment may need to be spread over multiple visits. While a dental implant is the recommended treatment option for many patients, it is important to talk with your provider about these 5 questions to before starting treatment.

1. What options are available to treat this problem and why is this the best option for me?
Often, dental implants are recommended for an acute problem such as pain or infection. It is important to consider both short-term and long-term effects of various treatment options in addition to seeking relief from the immediate problem. This might include consideration of healing time, potential complications and how long this type of treatment is expected to last. You may also wish to discuss why a dental implant being recommended over other options such as a bridge, or having the tooth pulled.

2. What is the treatment process?
Multiple steps may be required when placing a dental implant. For example, an infected or broken tooth may need to be removed, the implant post will need to be placed, time will be needed for the implant to integrate into the bone, and a cap may need to be placed over the implant. Discuss all the steps with your provider.

3. How many visits are typically needed and how long between each visit?
This treatment procedure occurs in multiple stages over multiple visits. Talk with your provider about what will occur during each visit and understand the total number of visits required as well as estimated time between each visit. Discuss how patient specific factors such as healing may the affect wait time needed between visits.

4. What is the total cost of the entire treatment and what will your out of pocket costs be?
Dental implants require multiple visits with the provider and the costs may vary from office to office. The amount a provider charges may be affected by whether you are paying for the procedure yourself or have access to dental insurance. Be sure to discuss the total cost for multiple visits and the amount you will be expected to pay if an insurance company is involved. Also check when the payments will be due.

5. Could additional appointments be needed?
Ask whether there are events that sometimes result in extra appointments or need for additional follow up. Have a good understanding of how to care for your dental implant during the treatment process and afterward to maximize the likelihood of a successful procedure. Ask about how long the implant is expected to last and what follow up you will need to ensure that everything has gone as expected with your dental implant.

A dental implant is the treatment option of choice for many patients. Increase your satisfaction and comfort with this procedure by talking with your provider about the treatment process and appropriate expectations for during and after treatment.

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