Tag Archives: New Orleans implant dentist

Is it worth the extra money for custom abutments?

I need some advice. I’ve had two dentists give me a quote for dental implants and one is a little higher than the other. I asked the one dentist why he was more expensive  and he said he does custom abutments and the other quote likely only includes pre-fabricated abutments and other cheaper parts. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to pull one over on me, so I went back to the first dentist and asked whether his quote included custom abutments. Come to find out, the other dentist was right! Quite honestly, I’m still not sure what my best option is. Are custom abutments really that big of a deal? Should that be a reason to pay more for dental implants? — Cecelia


You bring up a really great question. There are three main parts to dental implants – the implant itself, the abutment and the crown. All of these parts need to fit together perfectly to ensure the success of the implant long-term.

When it comes to prefabricated or “stock” abutments, dentists only have a few sizes to choose from and it can be difficult to achieve a natural shape with the crown, making it more difficult to keep the area clean. When a crown is cemented, cement often seeps out of the edges and dentists can’t get all the extra cleaned off when the space is too tight. Cement that is left behind traps food and bacteria, and when you’re unable to remove those particles, infection, inflammation and eventual implant failure can occur. If this happens, your only option is to start over, and you’ll likely incur even more expense for bone grafting before having surgery again.

Are custom abutments really that big of a deal? They do provide a better fit than stock abutments which means you’re less likely to be at risk of infection. And while custom abutments are not necessary for every implant case, it’s still good that you have both options on the table. You’ll need to decide what’s right for you (and your budget), but keep in mind that you may be risking a lot if you choose to go the prefabricated route. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Is pain and tenderness around my implant an emergency?

I had an implant placed about three months ago and the healing process has been great – up until last night. Something felt different and now this morning there’s tenderness and pain that is radiating into my jaw. It hurts enough that I can’t really eat. Of course it’s the weekend, so I’m not sure if this is something I should be worried about having looked at immediately by an emergency dentist or wait until Monday. Any advice? — Gabrielle

It’s probably a good idea to see an emergency dentist. From what you’re describing, you likely have an infection at the implant site since the pain is getting worse and spreading to your jaw. Not being able to eat is also a concern and worthy of a visit to the dentist, too.

Oral infections can spread quickly if not taken care of. They can even become deadly if it attacks the heart or brain. Infection can also lead to complete implant failure and significant bone loss. If that happens and your implant needs replaced, bone grafting will need to be done before placing a new post. Early treatment with an antibiotic can stop this from happening.

If your regular dentist has an answering service, try calling there first.  If they don’t have an on-call line or they don’t respond in a timely manner, look up your nearest emergency dentist and get an appointment as soon as you can.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Why does my dentist refuse to do mini implants?

I’ve been wearing a partial denture for several years to correct a missing tooth. At the time, I would have rather had an implant placed, but budget-wise, it was way out of my league. I’ve been working to save money toward an implant, and recently read about mini implants. If I understand correctly, I would have the same result as a traditional implant, but they are quite a bit cheaper. I asked my dentist why he didn’t offer them as an option a few years ago and he basically said they weren’t FDA approved and that he prefers traditional implants – and many dentists would consider them controversial. What does he mean by that? If they are so controversial, why is there so much information out there about them? — Jeremy

Controversial would be a good word to describe mini implants, but even more it seems is that most dentists really don’t understand mini implants so they tend to avoid them altogether. They are much like  traditional implants in the fact they they are implanted and integrated into the jawbone, however, as the name indicates, they are smaller. The fact that your dentist said they are not FDA approved is simply not true, and that shouldn’t be the case he makes for not suggesting them.

There are many people out there who have to live with missing teeth because dental implants are just too expensive, so mini implants are a viable and cost-effective solution. They are more affordable for a couple of reasons:

  • Less surgery and recovery time
  • They consist of just one piece (rather than separate/multiple parts like traditional implants)

Keep in mind that mini implants are not a solution for everyone, however, they are a viable option and should be considered. Find a dentist in your area that is familiar with mini implants and get a second opinion.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Does my dentist really expect payment for my implants up front?

I was in an accident a few years ago and lost some teeth. At the time, all I could afford to replace them with was a partial denture, but knew I would eventually get implants. I’ve done a ton of research and recently found an implant dentist that has great patient reviews, so I went to see him. We both agree that implants are the way to go and I can’t wait to get started. I’ll be having surgery to place four implants and then I’ll go back in 6-9 months to have the crowns placed. Here’s the deal… I was totally caught off guard when they told me that I’d need to pay for the entire procedure up front. That’s a lot of money to put up in advance, considering it will take many months to complete. Do most dentists ask for the entire amount up front? Should I question him more about it? — Daniel

You certainly have the right to ask a few questions regarding the procedure and the finances of it, so hopefully you’ve developed a trust and feel comfortable doing so. If you have any doubt in his/her capabilities or practices, consider it a red flag and keep looking. With that said, you need to keep in mind the complexity of the dental implant procedure. It requires a lot of skill on the doctor’s part and there are extremely high fees for materials and lab work that the doctor has to pay for many months in advance to you having a finished product. That’s why asking for payment upfront is not uncommon. Today, many doctors have finance plans they can offer patients (some are even interest free) to help make it more affordable. The approval typically only takes a few minutes and you can get started on the procedure that day. Good luck!

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

If my implant is loose, will I have to pay to have it fixed?

It’s been a couple of years since I had a missing tooth replaced with an implant and now I think it might be loose. It was very expensive to have done and I don’t want to risk it falling out, but I’m afraid it will cost more money to fix or replace it. That’s just something I can’t afford right now. If it does need redone, will I have to pay for it? — Reed

Your implant should not be loose. Make an appointment as soon as possible with your dentist so that he or she can take a look and determine exactly what part of the implant is loose and why. While it could just be the crown that’s loose or even the abutment or the actual implant, he won’t know the best way to fix it or if there will be any additional costs until he can get a good look.

If the implant failed or malfunctioned, there’s a good chance that the manufacturer might give the dentist a replacement free of charge. But maybe your implant crown just needs re-cemented – that would be a simple and easy fix. For most patients, implants should last for many years, but nothing is guaranteed and there are instances where an implant can fail or be rejected. If you are responsible for any out-of pocket costs it should be significantly less than what you paid for the implant.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Can I get implants instead of dentures?

I’m finally at a point in my life where I have access to dental insurance. It’s been a while since I’ve had consistent dental care and unfortunately, I’ve lost several teeth due to advanced periodontal disease. My gum line is very low and I’m wondering if I could get implants instead of dentures? — Mike

Dear Mike,
When you need to replace missing teeth, there’s no doubt that implants are a great choice for several reasons. With dentures, you lose at least 50% of your chewing efficiency simply because they don’t stay in place. With dental implants, you can eat normally and they will also help preserve your jawbone and prevent facial collapse – a condition that happens over time when you are missing teeth. When the jawbone is no longer supporting teeth, the body will begin to absorb the minerals and use them elsewhere in the body. If you suffer from facial collapse, eventually there will be no bone left, making it nearly impossible to wear dentures. Your face will also start to look sunken in, making you appear much older than you really are.

Are you a good candidate for dental implants? The answer to that question will depend on your overall health and whether or not you’ve had a lot of bone loss due to the advanced periodontal disease. You may need some bone grafts in order to provide enough bone to hold the implants. It’s certainly worth checking into, but just be sure you find an experienced dentist who has done a lot of dental implants and clocked many hours of continuing education in the area.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Can a teenager get dental implants?

My teenage son has a tooth that over the last few months has gotten darker in color. He hasn’t really been too concerned how it looks and it doesn’t seem to be causing him any pain. I didn’t think someone so young could have a dead tooth, but I guess he must have hit it on something. I’ve also heard that when you have a dead tooth it is painful. I’m taking him in to have it looked at and if the dentist confirms that it is dead, can he get a dental implant? It’s summer right now, but I don’t want him to go back to school with a big gap in his smile. — Eileen

Anyone at any age can have a dead tooth. Most often, trauma to the tooth is the cause, but you should have it looked at by a dentst to confirm.

In most cases, a dead tooth doesn’t need to be removed. It can actually be saved by a root canal.  It can’t be brought back to life, but it can look almost good as new again when treated.

If your dentist would happen to determine that the tooth needs removed, an implant is not the best option at this time because his jawbone still has a lot of growing to do. He could be well into his early 20’s before it actually stops growing.  Some dentists will place mini dental implant in teens, however there are concerns that the implant won’t be esthetically pleasing as the jaw grows and other permanent teeth move into place around it. For now, don’t worry about how to replace the tooth, just get him in for an exam and go from there.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Should I get a ceramic or metal implant?

I have read a lot about ceramic dental implants recently. Many sources have said I should go with ceramic over metal. When I brought this up to my dentist he told me that he only does metal implants. Why should I choose ceramic over metal? I like my dentist, so I’m wondering if it’s worth the trouble to find a new one who does ceramic implants? — Steven

Dear Steven,
Most dental implants are titanium or titanium alloy. Both are a top choice with dentists because they are very strong, have longevity and they integrate with the bone extremely well.

If a patient is “allergic” or sensitive to metal, a ceramic implant might be recommended. But how do you know if you’re sensitive to metal? Do you break out in a rash from jewelry or are you irritated by the snaps on your pants? If you answered yes to those questions, it’s often nickel that is the problem. You don’t need to be concerned if you haven’t had any sensitivity issues to metal; however, if have exhibited symptoms, it would be beneficial for you to get allergy tested and then follow-up with your dentist regarding the dental implant he uses and if it contains any of the metals that you tested allergic to.

A dentist might also chose ceramic purely for aesthetic reasons so that the underlying metal won’t make the porcelain crown look dark. However, even if there was some darkening, it’s rarely noticeable because most implants are placed in the back of the mouth. Also, if your dentists works with a skilled lab technician, they are experts in adjusting shade and opacity for natural-looking results.

Titanium or a titanium alloy restoration is a safe and reliable option unless you have a sensitivity metal. If you’re still concerned talk with your doctor because he knows your particular case and will be familiar with the materials he uses most and whether or not they will be a concern.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Can I find more affordable dental implants?

I have several missing teeth and I refuse to smile anymore because I am so embarrassed about how I look. I want to get implants, but the dentist I recently visited quoted me $5000. That is so much more than I was expecting and I really don’t think I can afford it. Is it possible to find a dentist who will do implants at a more affordable cost?  — Mary

There’s no doubt that $5000 is a lot of money, but it will certainly be very difficult to find another dentist who will make implants more affordable than the quote you were given. In fact, it almost sound too good to be true, and here’s why…

Dental implants are a two-stage process: 1) the surgical placement of the posts, and 2) placing the top of the tooth (crown) to the implant once is has fully integrated with your jawbone. While there will be some variation in cost depending on the quality of the materials, the expertise of your dentist and even where you live, you should expect to pay (at minimum) $1,000 per tooth being replaced for each stage. When you do the math for three teeth, that’s a cost of at least $6000. But consider this: some dentists can run as high as $2500 per tooth for each stage for a total of $15,000.

The first thing you need to do is verify with this dentist that the quote you were given is your total out-of-pocket expense for all procedures and materials. And make sure that he is doing three full, traditional dental implants. It could be that he is quoting you something else – like a bridge, a partial or even mini implants. Being fully prepared and informed means there will be no unpleasant surprises in the end.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about  why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

What’s with the brown line on my implant?

I recently noticed a brown line on my dental implant. I had an appointment for a cleaning and it totally slipped my mind to ask my dentist about it. After the cleaning, the dark line was gone so I just assumed it must have been a stain so I stopped worrying about it. Then I noticed today the line is back, so now I am wondering if something is wrong. If it’s nothing, I don’t want my dentist to think I am paranoid, but why would it show up in the exact same place if it was a stain?  — Mary Ann in Oklahoma

Mary Ann,
It’s highly possible that what you are seeing is a stain. Sometimes porcelain crowns can have slight defects, or they can get a very small crack in them. If there is an indentation or crevice, it can easily collect and show a stain. It’s very possible that your hygienist removed the stain, but it has come back again.

You should probably see your dentist soon to determine if it is a crack because there is a risk that it could give way and completely shatter the crown. Unfortunately your dentist will not be able to predict if or when that could happen. If the defect shallow, you may be able to remove the stain by brushing the area a little more thoroughly or it may be possible to buff the spot, which will smooth it out so it doesn’t collect stain. I also could be possible that you will eventually have to have a new crown made. The good news is that you won’t have to have the entire implant redone, just the restoration that attaches to your implant.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.