Questions to Ask – Southlake, TX
What to Know Before
Your Dental Transformation
Taking the first step towards rebuilding your smile can feel intimidating, and you understandably want to be 100% sure that you’ve chosen the right dentists and team members to guide you on your way. Before you make your decision, take a look through these questions to ask! They’ll give you a great blueprint for your first consultation, either here at our prosthodontic office or elsewhere.
How many appointments is the entire treatment?
Our goal is to ensure you do not have to take too much time off work or be away from your family to rebuild your smile. At the same time -- if the process is too quick, it is risky. What if the implant fails? What if you don't like the way it looks? What if the soft tissue shrinks and isn't given proper time to heal? The key is not to rush the process, but also not take longer than needed.
Who designs your temporary teeth?
Our prosthodontists create the impressions and custom design your smile. Our CAD/CAM specialist fabricates the temporary teeth, to be used on the day of surgery.
Will a lab technician work in my mouth?
After your implants are placed, our prosthodontists determine the proper position of the temporary teeth in your mouth while selecting the best implant abutments for your new implants. Lab technicians cannot do this, and it can only be performed by licensed dentists.
What happens if my temporary teeth break during healing?
It is not uncommon to have temporary teeth break during healing when conventional process is followed. This happens because the treatment takes too long and temporary teeth are not strong enough to sustain this lengthy conventional process. When a stressful event happens like this, it is very important to make sure it is resolved right away, not in a week or 10 days. Ask your dentist, who will be responsible to repair the break, what the time-frame for the repair.
What kind of training did your dentist receive restoring dental implants?
Surprisingly enough, many dentists who place dental implants have only attended an introductory course that took one or two days of time, which is very inadequate. In fact, we believe that it takes hundreds, if not thousands of hours of training to develop the right expertise to restore dental implants. After all, you want your dental implant done once and done right – you don’t want to go through the process again. Ask your dentist to provide specifics about their training regarding dental implant restorations.
What is the doctor turnover at this facility?
Many of the doctors do not have an ownership stake in corporate owned dental offices, which leads to more turnover. Patients may not see the same doctor from one visit to the next. Ask your dentist if he/she will be taking care of you from start to finish?
How much experience does the dentist have with placing dental implants specifically?
It’s important to select a dentist who has a great deal of experience in dental implant placement. This leads to higher-quality care and more successful outcomes. Ask your specialist the following questionsIt’s important to select a dentist who has a great deal of experience in dental implant placement. This leads to higher-quality care and more successful outcomes. Ask your specialist the following questions: Are you a board certified dental implant specialist? How often do you place implants? How many years have you been placing implants?
Does your dentist use cone beam and facial scanning technology?
It’s considered vital these days to use a Cone Beam CT to assess the volume, quantity, and overall quality of the available bone where a dental implant needs to be placed. Anything less than that is insufficient and even possibly unsafe to the patient. Ask if the doctor uses Cone Beam technology and facial scanners to evaluate his or her patients’ jawbones and facial relations.
What kind of dental implants do they use?
Many dentists don’t bother to use dental implant materials that have proven track records and the support of published, reputable studies that indicate high levels of predictability and overall success. Patients can do a little bit of research to learn about the best dental implants on the market today. Be sure to ask the dentist: which dental implant system do they recommend and why?
Does your dentist share thorough diagnostic workups as part of the treatment process?
The more information a dentist has on hand, the better care they provide in the end. Do they actually take the time to gather a comprehensive history for the patient, perform an exhaustive clinical exam, and capture important X-rays? The best dental implant specialists are extremely thorough in their review of someone’s current health and medical history. Ask them what they include when developing a custom dental implant treatment plan.
Are photos of the doctor’s actual work available for you to view?
Seeing “before” and “after” photos of a dentist’s work can give patients the peace of mind they seek when deciding whether to start treatment. Ask to see photographs of the doctor’s previous cases.
Have other patients provided referrals and/or testimonials that you can read?
In addition to images, it can be telling to hear about other patients’ experiences with a particular dentist. Ask to read these testimonials/reviews – they’re often available online! You can also ask to speak to a patient who will be willing to talk to you and answer questions about their dental implant journey with this specific doctor and team. Don’t hesitate to ask dentists about their previous patients and dental implant cases.
Finding an excellent dental implant specialist who you can trust doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process! Knowledge can ease your mind, and when you lead with the right questions, you are much more likely to have a very positive experience in the treatment chair, as well as a revitalized smile that lasts the test of time.