The dental implant offer, also known as a treatment plan, or an implant quote, is provided by your dentist. It is based on their clinical diagnosis and planning.
What is a dental implant offer?
The treatment plan summarizes the diagnostic and details the way your dentist is going to treat you. The offer should help you evaluate the quality of the planned treatment and compare offers received from various dentists.
Tip: The level of detail provided about the procedure are good indicators of the self-confidence of your dentist in their treatment value.
What information can you find in an implant offer?
1. Diagnostic material:
- Diagnostic report
- X-ray, intra-oral scanner and/or panoramic files
2. Shortlist of treatment options (including no treatment) :
- Surgical and prosthetic description
- The duration of the procedure
- The quality of appearance
- The level of comfort (i.e. pain management)
- The performance and predictability (risks and mitigations)
- Estimated budget
- Limitations and benefits
3. Recommended treatment option:
- Visualization (number and location of implants, type of prosthesis, aesthetics)
- Timing of insertion of implants (one- or two-stage surgery)
- Timing of prosthesis placement (provisional and final restoration)
- Description of implants (brand, number, position)
- Description of provisional prosthesis (removable etc.)
- Description of final prosthesis (screw, cement-retained) and the motivation behind their selection
- Who places the implants and does the prosthetic work
- Pain management
- The dates of each treatment step (diagnosis, surgery, post-op checks etc.)
- Long term care plan
- Benefits (aesthetics, the duration of treatment, predictability, safety, comfort) considering the patient’s condition and expectations
- Risks and mitigation
- Warranty and complication management (type, cost, ownership etc.)
- Total cost (including the mode and timing for payment)
- Key point of contact in the practice for questions (assistant, treatment coordinator, etc.)
Why do dental implant offers differ?
Dentistry, like medicine, requires a thorough clinical analysis in order to get the most accurate judgment of your health situation. Still, the accuracy of your clinical assessment depends on many factors, such as your dentist’s level of expertise, their equipment, the time available, your willingness to comply, and the complexity of your case. For example, a dentist using 3D scanning can detect certain bone features not visible on a 2D X-ray.
In any case, the relevance of the clinical assessment can only be judged by another clinician. It is, therefore, good practice to approach another dentist and ask them for a second opinion. Having a second diagnostic usually does not cost you anything, since many dentists offer free consultations.
The dental implant offer varies mostly due to the therapeutic solution selected. In order to judge if the solution suggested to you by your dentist is matching you’re expectations, you should consider the following factors and ask yourself questions like:
How much Time are you ready to invest in your treatment? Do you have any hard deadlines (e.g. wedding, work trip, holiday)? How many visits will you make to the practice during your treatment? Which dental treatment option is the fastest and what are the upsides and downsides?
What Quality of Service do you expect from your dental clinic? Do you want your clinic to be open on Saturdays? What about advanced pain management? Are the dental implant treatment options wider or similar to other practices? Is the practice in a prime location and offering a high comfort service?
What Level of Aesthetic can you expect from your treatment? How much effort is the dentist investing to deliver a tooth replacement that lives up to your aesthetic expectations? Do you require papilla and gingiva reshaping? Are you offered several dental implant treatment options with different levels of the aesthetic outcome?
What Level of Precision and Predictability do you expect from your treatment? How often does your dentist treat indications similar to yours? Is the planning done with the support of dedicated tools (e.g. planning program) Thorough planning provide the best chances of matching the treatment plan with the clinician’s goal and patient expectations.
Do you value a treatment that performs over many years? How many maintenance visits are you ready to do in the future? Would it bother you to have to do some repairs?
All these factors show the complexity of dental implant systems and the requirements to place them. This is where having the right dentist doing your procedure is essential. Comparing treatment offers will help you to select a good implant dentist. Two offers might have the same price, but their value can differ significantly. One practice can, for example, propose a shorter treatment time, better aesthetics results, or fewer risks of complications, than another.
How to compare dental implant offers?
The diagnosis (problem identification) is critical for providing the relevant therapeutic solution. Make sure the diagnoses done by your dentists are coherent. If not, then seek an additional opinion. Some dentists provide diagnostic images and videos with their offers. This is a good sign of their ethical commitment because:
- They want you to avoid having to get through more X-rays while seeking a second opinion
- They acknowledge that this data is your property
- They encourage you to seek a second opinion. Diagnosis is a complex matter that has a share of subjectivity.
The therapeutic solution can vary between dentists based on many factors. These factors include the quality, the price, the duration of the procedure, and the level of predictability among many more.
Price is not always an indicator of the true treatment quality, but certainly, a high-quality treatment involves more costs than a ‘low-cost treatment’. Make sure to understand the price in relation to meeting your expectations and achieving the planned clinical outcome.
 Goodacre CJ, Naylor WP. Single implants and their restoration. Foundation for Oral Rehabilitation 2015;ebook, http://www.for.org/en/learn/elibrary/single-implants-and-their-restoration