With the growing popularity of dental implants, can you afford to ignore this service and revenue source? Some of the misconceptions associated with dental implants might deter you from adding implant placement to your skillset. However, with advances in technology and changes in your patients’ mindsets, this might be a good time to re-examine how you think about implants.
Specialists must place dental implants. While only 10-15% of general dentists in North America place dental implants, this figure is 80-90% worldwide. Some general dentists place many more dental implants annually than oral surgeons or periodontists. Every general dentist can learn how to place dental implants successfully.
Dental implants aren’t a necessary treatment. Edentulism is a growing problem because of our aging population, and thus more people are interested in dental implant treatment. Often, their only barrier is finding a suitable implant dentist locally.
Dental implants are a multidisciplinary treatment. The same can be said to be true for all types of dentistry, and dental implants aren’t unique in this respect.
Expensive diagnostic technology is needed. While an increasing number of dental practices have invested in cone beam CT scanners and will use guided surgery during implant treatment, it is frequently only necessary for complicated cases. Most dental implant treatments are single units and are easily placed in healthy patients, without the need for costly technology. However, a CBCT scanner can be an excellent marketing point. It could be worthwhile adding this technology in the future and especially if the demand for implants grows in your practice.
Dental implant training is too long. Beginner courses are reasonably quick and will provide you with the all the skills you need to plan and place dental implants using non-guided and guided surgery.
It is expensive to get started in implant dentistry. Most times it is possible to get started for a relatively low amount, and then you can build on your initial investment as you gain experience.
An implant motor drill is too costly. While an implant drill motor is likely to be the most expensive item needed, you may be able to negotiate a deal based on purchasing a specific number of full-price dental implants.
There are lots of hidden costs in implant dentistry. These “hidden” costs are fixed and are still relatively low. Drills are certainly a cost, as you will most likely need to replace them every 5-10 cases. Another cost is irrigation bags and lines for the implant motor, but these can be purchased in bulk.
Implant components are expensive. The cost of implant systems varies considerably, but you do get what you pay for. Often, implant companies will offer deals for bulk purchases so you can begin with a variety of different sizes initially.
I’ll need additional staff. An experienced and well-trained surgical assistant should be capable of assisting during implant dentistry.
The additional time needed to place dental implants will increase my overhead. Initially, there will be a learning curve when more time is needed to place dental implants, but with experience your efficiency will increase.
Placing dental implants will sever my relationship with dental specialists. You most likely know several specialists and refer implant patients to these colleagues. It is crucial to maintain these relationships and to continue referring cases occasionally. For example, you will almost certainly wish to continue referring more complex cases and bone grafts.
I can’t compete with discount implant centers. Although these implant centers cut profit margins to the bone, they categorize implants as a commodity rather than a medical treatment. Educating patients about the value of dental implants will help them realize they are receiving an excellent service for a fair price and from a clinician they know and trust.
My practice is already successful, without implants. Even successful practices need to remain current, and today’s patients are smarter and more well-informed about their dental care. If you cannot provide the implant services they require, they can easily search online for another clinician.
Please remember, our experienced technical team is here to discuss specific treatment plans with you, and we will work with you to help ensure patient satisfaction.