Dental Implant Scams and Frauds
Dental Implant Scams and Frauds

Dental Implant Scams and Frauds

When searching for low cost dental implants, you should be aware of dental implant fraud. For example, a prospective dental implant patient may see advertisements on television, radio or in their newspaper promising free dental implants. While this may seem appealing, there is almost always a false promise and huge risk behind the offer.
One of the most common dental implant frauds involves hidden fees. When you find an ad offering free dental implants, you may go into the clinic for treatment expecting to be charged nothing for the service. After all, the ad said "free" right? Indeed, the clinic will probably insist the procedure really is free because they are training a new dentist, that they have a promotional campaign ongoing, or some other plausible reason.
However, once the procedure is completed you will be presented an invoice containing substantial fees indirectly related to the implant. These fees may be listed as unexpected complications discovered during surgery and can often be very expensive. The dentist is protected because the implant itself may be listed as free whereas the surgeons fee and other miscellaneous "restorative" procedures may carry an exorbitant cost.
Another common dental implant fraud is failure to advise the cost of the crowns, the visible part of the implant. Dentists are able to get away with this in many cases because the actual implant, the part that holds the crown is free or very inexpensive (low quality from Asia). They then charge an enormous amount for the other parts are needed to complete the procedure such as the abutment and crown.
One of the worst and most dangerous dental implant frauds is misleading patients with various claims of training and credentials. Unfortunately, patients are the ones paying the price when they receive inferior and potentially dangerous dental care. Complications resulting from implant failure, such as infection and blood poisoning, can be potentially fatal. It happens more often than you think.
Patients are often misled into thinking the dentists is qualified to place dental implants by telling the patient, "our dentist has advanced training in dental implants". Sounds nice, but sometimes this "advanced training" consists of nothing more than a weekend course sponsored by a dental implant materials distributor. In exchange for purchasing the dental implant materials kit and a few implants, the dentist is given an official looking plaque or certificate saying they have successfully completed advanced training, continuing education or completed an implant course. These certificates can look very authentic and convincing. Some will use impressive sounding names designed to mislead prospective patients, names such as: Institute of Implantology, Implant Dentist Certification, College of Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, etc.
Some dentists will join organizations and then use their membership to imply that they hold specialty credentials and qualifications to fit dental implants. Often the only requirement for joining many of these organizations is that the dentist is able to pay the yearly dues. In the worst case, there may be no educational requirement at all to become a member and the dentists need know nothing about placing dental implants.
Dentistry, like any other profession, from car repair to financial planning, is not immune to the greed of unscrupulous individuals. Simply being aware that such frauds exist will keep you alert to potential problems. When it comes to dental implants, or any form of dental or medical fraud, the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to always ask lots of questions, get your answers in writing, and if you do not feel 100% comfortable with the answers you receive, be prepared to walk out the door.

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