What are my options to replace a missing tooth?

There are several ways to replace a missing tooth. A simple solution consists in fabricating a partial denture.

Partial dentures look like orthodontic retainers, usually carrying one or two teeth. The denture may also be attached to other teeth using wire clips.

Another option is a dental bridge. Bridges are usually fixed, stable, and feel like natural teeth. However, you need to prepare (i.e. grind down) the two neighboring – otherwise healthy – teeth in order to carry the bridge.

This can lead to problems like periodontal disease in the long-run.

Dental implants are the best substitute for a missing tooth. They are artificial roots for teeth, screwed into the jawbone to carry crowns, bridges etc. Usually they are made of titanium because of its compatibility with human bones and tissues: Within a few months, the implant merges biologically with the human body (osseointegration) and thus feels like a natural tooth root.

Implants can be used as replacement of single teeth or as pillars to support long bridges, i.e. with only 2-4 implants, an entire upper or lower denture can be supported. Dental implants, if taken good care, have a lifespan of 20 years or more.

Please note that implants are not fit for everyone. Among other factors, ideal bone condition is required. Should bone grafts and/or sinus lifting be required for implants placement, additional time may be needed to complete the treatment.

Do dental implants carry any risk? Are they suitable for everyone?

Your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, jaws and jawbone before recommending dental implants.

Implant placement is a multi-step procedure: If necessary, remaining teeth stumps are extracted to make room for the implants.

The implant is surgically inserted under the gums and allowed to fuse with your jawbone. This healing process (osseointegration) takes up to 6 months.

Once the area heals and the implant is stable, it is ready to support a dental crown or denture. Good candidates for dental implants have adequate jawbone volume and quality.

In general, you must be in good health, and your body must be able to heal normally. Patients who don’t have enough bone to support implants need a bone graft. At our clinic, we use synthetic bone to make the implant site dense enough for implant insertion. Before surgery, your dentist will determine if you need bone graft.

Do you place so-called immediate implants?

In order to avoid confusion about two very similar terms, we would like to distinguish between.

a) Immediate placement of implants: This is the practice of combining two dental surgeries in one: extracting weak teeth or stumps and placing implants on the fresh extraction site the very same day. Whether immediate placement of implants is possible or if the patient should rather have the wound heal first depends on many factors, including bone density and the ability of your body to heal. It must be evaluated at our clinic.

b) Immediate loading of implant-supported restorations: In some cases, the final tooth restoration (e.g. crown or bridge) is placed on top of an implant the same day of the implant surgery. It is traditionally advised to wait several months after placing an implant to allow for the bone to heal and integrate the dental implant (osseointegration); this reduces the risk of implant failure. During that time you would have a provisional denture. If your individual situation (bone and gum condition, your bite, commitment to soft diet etc.) allows for immediate loading of implant-supported restoration, we can place the restoration the same day you receive your implant.

What are mini implants?

Mini implants are actually longer than conventional implants, although their name suggests differently. They are slightly cheaper and provide more stability shortly after the surgery, but have a higher risk of failure and do not last as long. In the long-run, you are better off getting regular implants.

Why is treatment at Dental Specialties Clinic Puerta de Hierro Colima cheaper than in my home country? Is it really of the same quality?

We can assure you that our clinic meets international standards regarding product quality, staff qualification, hygiene and safety.

The technical equipment and material we buy is most probably the exact same brand your local dentist is using.

The reason we can offer services at significantly lower prices than, let’s say, US dentists, is that our running costs (rent/property tax, electricity, water, wages and salaries, etc.) are smaller than in the USA.

Can you tell me the exact price of my treatment beforehand?

For some treatments like dental cleaning, yes. But for complex interventions like implant surgery or an orthodontic treatment are tailored to your personal health and necessities; they require a dentist’s thorough analysis of your oral and overall health, the condition of your teeth, bones and tissues etc. Once we have gathered sufficient information about your case, we will provide you with several treatment options and the respective quotes.

I want to combine dental treatment with vacation. How much time should I plan for the treatment? How many visits to the clinic will be required?

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How many appointments you need depends on the treatment you chose, your personal predisposition and your arrangements with your dentist back home.

We will tell you the necessary time frame for your specific treatment once we have sufficient information on your case and decided – together with you – on your personal treatment plan.

From experience, most treatments without surgery can be completed within ten days approx. Either way, when planning your travel itinerary, please include a small time buffer: additional unforeseen appointments might be necessary, as each patient reacts differently to certain procedures.

How do I get to your clinic if I am taking some vacations at Manzanillo?

The distance from Manzanillo to Colima City is about 98.5 km, Colima is very well connected to Manzanillo via bus or private transport and the estimated travel time is 1.5 hours.

Manzanillo Terminal Bus, also known as TAM, is located at the next address: Pacific Ocean Avenue 20, Colonia Valle de las Garzas.

Among the main bus lines operating the route Manzanillo to Colima are ETN Luxury Turistar, Primera Plus, La Linea, etc.

When you make your first appointment, please tell us where you come from, so we can help you plan your trip. We have staff available and qualified to attend upon arrival and during their stay at Colima City.

How safe is Colima?

Colima is a tranquil city and capital of the small Mexican state of the same name. Colima is located in western Mexico not far from the Pacific coast and is situated in a valley between two volcanoes, the active Volcán de Fuego and the dormant snow-capped Volcán Nevado de Colima. Called the “City of Palms,” Colima is dotted with banana and coconut palms and the weather in Colima is pleasant year-round. Colima has been named one of the safest and most livable cities in Mexico.

Do you provide accommodation to your patients and their companions?

Colima offers accommodation for each and every taste. There are national and international chain hotels like Best Wastern, Wyndham Garden, Fiesta Inn, and traditional Colima haciendas like Hotel Boutique Hacienda del Gobernador and also simple guesthouses like Hostal La Parroquia.

We gladly advise you what accommodation best fits your needs and expectations. We have also arranged special prices for our patients at several hotels, so make sure you ask us for help before booking.

I am afraid of dental treatment! Do you provide sedatives/anesthesia?

We believe that there is absolutely no need to be afraid of dental treatment. Unfortunately there are quite a lot of people who have had unpleasant dentist experiences.

Our entire staff is very understanding and trained to deal with odontophobic patients. We will go the extra mile to make sure you are as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Our dentists work with local anesthesia and will minimize your sense of pain to a slight prick of the needle. During implant surgery or other types of surgical interventions, upon your wish we can apply IV sedation (monitored by a qualified anesthesiologist of course) instead of local anesthesia.

How do I pay for my treatment? Do you accept international credit cards? What are your payment and deposit terms?

In order to make paying for your dental services as convenient as possible, we have a number of payment options, including credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) and bank transfer. Check our Payment Options for more details.

Can I expect any reimbursement from my health insurance back home? Do you direct bill (i.e. accept direct payment) from dental insurance companies?

We currently do not have a contract with any insurance company, as our patients come from both Mexico and abroad.

As a courtesy to our patients, our office will help prepare insurance forms and provide all necessary material (reports, x-rays, estimates of treatment etc.) for you to arrange reimbursement with your insurance company.

As your dental care provider, we commit to a relationship with you, our patient, and not with your insurance company. All incurred charges are ultimately the responsibility of the patient regardless of insurance coverage. Therefore we cannot render services on the assumption that our charges will be paid by an insurance company. Thank you for your understanding.

How long will my implants/crowns/dentures last? Do you offer a warranty to your patients?

In general, dental restorations like crowns, bridges and dentures, should last a minimum of five years, with good care much longer. If bad habits like smoking or chewing on hard items are harmful to natural teeth, they are even more so to artificial teeth, so be considerate.

In the case of bridges and dentures, over time you will feel them looser than at the beginning; this is a normal effect of natural shrinkage of bone and tissue structure due to missing teeth.

So your denture will have to be adjusted professionally, by our team or a qualified dentist of your choice. Depending on the anchor system used to attach your denture to your mouth, there may be other parts that need regular maintenance or exchange, like some rubber parts in implant abutments. How long your denture will last depends to some extent on the material you chose, but even more so on the care you give it on a daily basis.

Implants replace your natural tooth root and are meant to stay in your mouth forever, and in many cases they do. However, just as we may lose natural teeth to infections or accidents, the same can happen to your implant. In general, implants should last a minimum of 5 years. If you lose your Nobel Biocare implant (which is our preferred brand) within the first 10 years, we will put another one in at no cost.

Will I receive full documentation (in English) of my case for future reference and treatment?

Yes, you will receive copies/scans of your surgery report, patient history, digital x-ray pictures and any additional material we have that could be of use to you.

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