Squeezed between billboards promoting “Free Donuts” and “855-Car-Hit-U”, I recently spotted an ad for $400 dental implants. Radio also has numerous promotions for “teeth-in-a-day”. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “This makes for a market that creates confusion for the public. There really is a huge difference between quality and cheap”!
There are dozens of dental implant companies that sell implants in the USA. However many of these companies are copies or “clones” of other successful implants. Since these smaller companies do very little research or development, they are usually 1-2 generations of implant design behind the major companies. In the many implant complication cases referred to us, we have seen a higher rate of problems in the “clone” implants…even though they look very similar to the major implant brands.
An additional concern is that as smaller implant companies come and go there is a risk of not being able to get parts compatible with these numerous implants to make the crowns or bridges that attach to them. I would not put a clone implant into a family member’s mouth (not even my mother-in-law!). Innovative companies that approach implant dentistry responsibly with research and education provide quality and service are doing very well, while implant companies that compete only on price are not a good fit for any practice.
Would you want a discounted hip or knee implant? How would you feel if your dentist was charging you the regular price and giving you a cheap implant knockoff? Do you even ask or know? The consumer needs to know that all implants are not created equal, and they should ask what brand is being used at a particular office.
Here are some implant companies that Dr. Johnson has worked with over his 29 years of clinical practice and have a good track record and lots of data: Biomet 3i, Zimmer Dental, Straumann, Keystone, Astratech and Nobel Biocare.
Original publication by Dr. Mitchell Josephs on LinkedIn