Dental Implants: Are More Patients Choosing Dental Bridges?

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Dental implant or dental bridge? Economy a facotr for patients at dentist's officeJust over half of dentists surveyed (55%) said they are seeing more patients choosing dentures and/or bridges over dental implants as a result of the economy.

Here are some comments from dentists on how the recession is affecting dental treatment and tooth implants:

Dental implants are the treatment of choice

  • "We all know that a single tooth implant is the best solution for a missing tooth. Our office has priced the single implant and restoration (including the abutment if needed) exactly the same as a three unit dental bridge. At our office, dentures are hand-set with porcelain teeth and usually secured with a few implants. Since we know what our lab fees are and what our overhead is, we are able to package very nice and do-able treatment plans. We average about 35 new patients a month." (Alaska dentist)

Patients may delay treatment…

  • "I have not seen patients who wants implants electing bridge or denture treatments instead based on current economic conditions alone. Some patients will delay implant treatments they want so they can plan and budget for it, and many times they will phase out the treatments." (Texas dentist)

…or skip it altogether

  • "Some patients are opting for no treatment." (New Jersey dentist)

Treatment plans have gotten smaller

  • "People are still doing dental treatment, but case sizes accepted are generally smaller." (Tennessee dentist)
  • "Patients are doing less involved treatments."
  • "We are simply seeing less of everything."

Just a thought…. I wonder if there’s any increase in demand for mini dental implants as a less expensive treatment alternative to regular dental implants?

Insurance will cover bridges

  • "Not as many dentures as bridges. People are still finding insurance coverage for bridges, and even though the patients still would rather have the implant, they are electing bridges for financial considerations."

The cost of dental implants can be hard to bear

  • "Tough to tell a patient that it’s going to cost $2000 for the implant, maybe $1000 more if there’s not enough bone at the specialist. Then another $900 plus $350 for a stock fixture for my fees. And then, by the way, it’s going to take at least 5 months." (Pennsylvania dentist)

Note: Survey sample included 35 respondents.

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