Jerry: Hi Angela, I have another tooth that was removed some years ago because it was split down to the roots I’m wanting to get an implant in its place. I’ve heard this kind of dental treatment can be expensive so I’m wondering what I need to know about the cost.
Angela: Well Jerry firstly there are two stages to every dental implant a surgical component where the titanium fixture or rod is placed in your jaw bone under your gum and a restoration component wear a crown is installed onto the implant fixture so you need to make sure you have them both costed.
Jerry: And what if I would like to be treated by specialists?
Angela: No problem at all, as I think you know there is no exclusive specialization as such for dental implants so don’t construe titles such as ‘implant surgeon’ ‘implantology’ or ‘implant dentist’ to mean that these clinicians have more qualifications than your local general dentist.
Jerry: Very interesting because I do see those labels all over the marketing websites of dentists.
Angela: That’s right when it comes to the surgical component there are only three board registered specialists who have the appropriate training they are all the maxillofacial surgeons oral surgeons and periodontists.
Jerry: And how about the specialist who does the crown?
Angela: This specialist is called a prosthodontist.
Jerry: I see but I suppose I’m still wondering whether my general dentist could provide my implant surely that would be cheaper
Angela: Absolutely general dentists especially experienced ones can handle both of these aspects but remember the more complicated the implant case the more strongly advised you are to consult a specialist oral and maxillofacial surgeon or periodontist and a specialist prosthodontist or get their second opinion before embarking on such a course of treatment this applies particularly to anyone who is more than one tooth missing depleted bone cosmetic challenges or bike complexities.
Jerry: So do I need a referral to see these specialists and will it cost a lot?
Angela: No, a referral isn’t necessary and your scans your x-rays on your records can be transferred from your existing dentist so there is no doubling up of costs a Medicare rebate is also applicable if you choose to see an oral maxillofacial surgeon so this way you’re assisted with the cost oh and don’t forget if you have any doubts about the specialist registration of a dental practitioner just check them up on the APRA website.
Jerry: That’s great advice Angela, Thank you.