The Implant Pyramid Scheme
You need a tooth replaced and your dentist recommends an implant. You go home and notice there are several dentists in your area that are offering implants at a special rate. Many of these offers may lead to you paying more then you should. This is how these scams work. They advertise a ridiculously low price for an implant with some fine print that leads to one of the following money bilking scams:
1) Immediate add on fees. This may be an examination fee or radiographs
2) Latent add on fees. These are added to the implant surgery to pad your bill
3) Post surgery add on fees
4) Restoration gouging
First make sure the dentist will do any necessary radiographs and examinations for free. We need the information on the radiographs to determine the size and shape of the implant. Get copies of all records before you leave that day even if they are free. In Pennsylvania, the law is very clear, the records are yours for free. The dentist may put a charge on your account for the duplication, but it is uncollectible. DO NOT PAY FOR YOUR RECORDS IN PENNSYLVANIA!
The next step will be a second opinion. Then get a third opinion. Did all three agree about the surgery? Grafting is only needed in extreme situations where we need to grow new bone. Over eighty percent of implants can be place without grafting. If grafting is needed get the graft receipt. Most bone used today is from a human source, which means it must be identified and registered with the FDA.
All implants require a period of healing and check ups to make sure everything is healing well. This should be included in the surgery for free. Most implants require three to four post operative checks and you should not pay for them.
There are three parts to most implants. The implant itself is the titanium fixture placed in the jaw. The second part is the post, which screws into the implant to give the dentist something to cement to. The third part is the crown, which looks like a tooth. The crown can be cemented or screwed down. THere is no reason that you should be forced to have the implant restored by the placing dentist. This avoids getting gouged on the last two parts of your implant. The implant dentist should welcome this scenario and give your dentist the information and parts necessary to restore the implant.
Remember those second and third opinions? Good. Now compare prices. Get a fee for just the implant and get a fee for restoring the implant. Get this in writing. Now you are an educated consumer and will get the best value for your money.
A Family Dental Care Center: Dr. Seth Rosen
2030 West Main St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403