When it comes to cheaper dental implants, it’s important to ask yourself why are they cheaper – what are you not getting?
In the UK, we saw a chain of dental practices close its doors. This was just before the coronavirus crisis. It was a real shock to all of us in the dental industry and we really do sympathise with patients, staff and suppliers affected. As a small business owner, we all always want other businesses to succeed and this was a stark warning that none of us is too big to fail.
Looking back at the dental chain in question, many of my colleagues and I would often wonder how they could afford to offer their services at the prices they were offering. At the last time of checking, they offered a full jaw of teeth for £9,000. If we look at all the costs involved in planning, delivering and maintaining this bespoke, complex piece of dental engineering, as well as the cost of the marketing, staff wages and over overheads associated with the business, this was just not possible in our practice at this price.
Answers began to arrive soon after they closed. Stories across the dental and national media described dentists and staff not being paid, patients having paid in full for treatment not even started, others who had to go elsewhere and pay again to complete treatment, unpaid supplier bills and owed rent.
You want your dentist to run a successful business if your dental implants are to be placed and looked after in the long-term. You want “teeth for life” not just “teeth in a day”. You’re buying this reassurance as well as the dental implants themselves.
To make treatment cheaper for you, dentists either have to be more efficient, spend less time with you or reduce how much we spend on materials, rent premises and staff wages. Any one of these could impact the quality of treatment you receive. That said, it’s worth pointing out that liking and trusting your dentist and their team is crucial and paying more does not guarantee this.
If you’re looking around, visit the practice, meet the team, meet the dentist, look at before and after photos of other cases. Get transparent pricing, ask what brand of implant, speak to previous patients and check how your implant would be looked after should you or your dentist move.
In short, check that you’re getting teeth for life. Teeth for life that look and feel good, giving you confidence. Nobody can give you a 100% guarantee, but the materials used and the people involved with how your bespoke, complex piece of dental engineering is planned, placed and maintained, are all important to the long-term success of your dental implant.