Sunday, November 8, 2015

Affording Dental Implants

The cost of dental implants continues coming down.  And if you consider the benefits, the time involved and the expertise of your specialist, our Sandy Springs patients consider implants worth every penny.  To help you understand and appreciate the cost how dental implants may differ depending on various factors.

If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

The cost of a dental implant ranges from around $1,100 up to $5,000.00.  Anything less may be an indicator that you’re getting an inferior product or an implant that’s not designed for a particular location in your mouth.  There are those that advertise implants as being FDA approved and short term the implant device may appear to be fully functional, but operationally it won’t last.  It’s like the difference between Toyo’s and Michelin tires.  There are FDA approved ‘knock-offs’, but you get what you pay for and while the initial cost may appear affordable, in the  long term you are going to get a better result with how it functions and how long it lasts if your provider installs Michelins.
The real concern for the patient is ‘where and how’ to find an affordable quality dental implant, and most likely the driving adjective is ‘affordable’.  This perception by the patient is that teeth are utilitarian to their daily life.  That’s really not the case, but to put the cost into perspective examine what goes into the cost of a dental implant.

4 Factors that Drive the Cost of Dental Implants:

The Material:
The traditional materials – prices of cobalt-chromium alloy and titanium are not the same.  Implants from cobalt-chromium (CC) alloy rods are cheaper than comparable titanium implants, but when it comes to zirconium dioxide, then cost of a dental implant may appear to be cost prohibitive to the patient.  However, depending on where the implant is being placed, you may end up with a less than satisfactory result with the less expensive CC implant.  You just won’t know it for a while.

The Size:
This variable is a significant factor.  The bigger the implant, the more material, the more it costs, but also the more it may do.  Also, special coatings applied to the surface of the implant, contributing to better osseo-integration with the bone will affect the cost of the dental implant.

The Manufacturer:
Different manufacturers put different prices on similar rods made from the same material. Some manufacturers include some kind of an extra charge in the dental implant’s price for their brand name. This is a lot more esoteric and therefore harder to explain.   It’s like trying to explain the difference between Polo and Hanes T-shirts.  However, some of these manufacturers provide lifetime guarantees and replacement for failure.

Finally, it may depend on where your dentist gets their implants from.  And this factor may be a function of how motivated your provider is in providing you with the best implant material for the least amount of cost to you.  Some of that may just end up being economies of scale by your provider.  Does your provider have contacts directly with manufactures in China, where the dental implant cost can be significantly reduced, while the indirect purchase of dental implants from U.S dental suppliers may ratchet up the price?

A lot of your choice and cost may depend on the choice of your provider.   It’s not to say the more you spend the better you will be.  Rather, a reputable practitioner, who is truly trained in the placement and restoration (and this may be two providers), may be a significant factor in what you end up with and what it costs.  Trust and reputation are the more difficult factors to define for the patient.

Whether you’re from Dunwoody or East Cobb, we are conveniently located in Sandy Springs. So contact us for a complimentary consult to see if you are a candidate for dental implants.

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

Related articles for Dunwoody, Roswell, East Cobb, Brookhaven, Buckhead, Vinings and Alpharetta

·    Dentist Sandy Springs: Success Rates of Dental Implants (

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Top 5 Reasons We Are Out-Of-Network

And What That Means For You

I sat down earlier this week to write a piece with the title above, but very quickly realized there really aren’t that many reasons. The only reason we are out-of-network with most insurance plans comes down to one simple fact:

We treat World-Class patients and we want to offer world–class oral health care on our own terms, the way dentistry was intended to be provided.
Many people think that if a practice is not in-network with their insurance, they can’t seek services with that provider, but that is not correct. The truth is, in most cases, you can work with a dentist who is out-of-network.  All in-network means is that a dental provider has signed a contract with a health insurance company that allows the insurance company to dictate the value of the oral health care provided. Sadly, the current climate of dental insurance reimbursement often has providers being paid less than the cost of a personal training or Pilates session, a haircut, or full tank of gas. In addition to low reimbursements, many of the treatments are not covered even when you’re in-network.

A few things you need to understand about our oral health care:

  • We have extensive education and training, with one of the rarest specialties in the nation – a prosthodontist. We are the physicians of the mouth.
  • As with all patients, all oral health care is not created equal. Dentists do not receive a handbook on graduation day that tells us how to treat a specific diagnosis. Your treatment is customized, taking into consideration an individual’s age, gender, lifestyle, home and work demands, and even emotions related to their unique needs.
  • All dentists are not created equal. Our team has furthered their education by taking classes and additional training beyond what is required by our governing board.[1]  Some dentists look for every opportunity to expand their knowledge and stay current with studies and treatments. Good dentists know that there is not one treatment to help everyone and, while we may not be able to cure all, we have a network of additional resources that might.
In our Sandy Springs office we have chosen to stay true to our ideals of how oral health care should be delivered. We consider you world-class and treat you as such and refuse to upcharge, bait and switch or look for issues that comport with insurance filings rather than providing you with the trusted care you deserve and afford.  At the end of your treatment you will have peace of mind.

If we can be of service feel free to contact us.

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta, GA 30328

Related Articles:
Oral Health in America – Dentist Sandy Springs

[1] Dr. Novy Scheinfeld is an Emory Trained prosthodontist, one of 310 practicing in the U.S. according to Forbes Magazine.  Dr. ZoAnna Scheinfeld is engaged in a mini-implant residency at UAB.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Oral Cancer

Our doctors can’t tell you with certainty what causes oral cancer. It’s more than likely a combination of genetic predisposition and factors in your environment. Tobacco is the most common factor contributing to oral cancers.  Obviously, smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes and using chewing tobacco greatly increase your chance of getting oral cancer.

Signs and symptoms of oral cancer for cancers in the mouth, you, your dentist or your physician can actually see or feel something abnormal in most cases. This is different from cancers in other parts of the head and neck, which can remain hidden for some time.  In our Sandy Springs office symptoms we watch for are:

1.      Painful sores in your mouth
2.      Pain or difficulty swallowing
3.      A patch in your mouth
4.      Difficulty opening your mouth
5.      Numbness (resulting from an effected nerve)
6.      Difficulty speaking
7.      Recurring bleeding from the mouth
8.      Bad breath (a rare sign)
9.      Loose teeth or dentures that won’t fit properly (because of underlying tumors)
10.   A lump in your neck

Remember, not all lumps, patches or bumps are cancer.  There are many of these presentments that are non-cancerous.  Yet there are also a few common pre-malignant lesions of which you should be wary about, which is why you need to see your dentist regularly.  Your visits to your dentist are a visit to your oral health care provider. We recommend preventive dental checkups at least twice a year, if not more, depending on your particular needs. Routine exams and annual x-rays not only to protect against tooth decay but also oral cancers. If we can be of assistance please contact us.

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta, GA 30328

Monday, October 19, 2015


The Missing Piece to Your Overall Wellness and Lower Medical Costs

New research by insurance giant United Concordia builds on the connection between good oral health and lower medical costs and reduced hospitalizations.  This landmark study was conducted through a partnership between United Concordia Dental and Highmark, examining three years of medical and dental claims for 1.7 million members.[1]

Chronic medical conditions are a widespread issue in our country, affecting an estimated one out of every two adults over 21.[2] And, periodontitis (gum disease) is an epidemic of its own:

47% of Americans suffer from periodontal disease at any one time[3]

The good news is, United Concordia’s study found that regular professional dental care can not only improve overall health, but can also reduce your medical expenses and hospitalizations.

What this means for patients in our Sandy Springs office who have one or more chronic conditions or  are pregnant is:

If you have a chronic condition, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke or pregnant, it is more important than ever to keep up with consistent oral care at home and see your dentist regularly. You many need additional treatment to keep your mouth healthy, which can help improve your overall health, and keep your medical costs down.[4]

How we make better oral health a part of your overall wellness.

The basics of good dental care are relatively simple—brush twice day, floss once a day and see your dentist. But, it’s also important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for treatment.  With over 90 years of experience in metro Atlanta, we have long understood that the mouth is connected to the body, and with better oral care and our expertise, you could see improvements in your overall health, plus savings in medical costs and reduced hospitalizations.

The opportunity for cost savings and better health is significant.  Routine oral care helps prevent and respond to problems before they develop into complex and more expensive ones.  Without a doubt, good professional oral health care is critical to your overall health.  If we can be of assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta, GA 30328

[1] This study shows reduced hospitalizations and health care costs are possible when individuals with at least one chronic condition or who are pregnant receive treatment for their gum disease. Having the study peer-reviewed speaks to the importance of the findings and the credibility of our work." -Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, D.M.D.
[2] CDC, The Power of Prevention: Chronic Disease…the Public Health Challenge of the 21st Century,  2009
[3] CDC, Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010, 09/12
[4] Published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How Often Should I See the Dentist?

At least every six months.

There are those who are at greater risk for oral diseases and other health related issues that should have dental cleanings and oral health check-ups more than twice a year, such as, diabetes, periodontal (gum) disease, possible heart disease, pregnancies and in rare instances alcohol and tobacco users.

Poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are some of the many factors that your dentist takes into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and check-ups.  One of the real problems that has invaded oral healthcare are the restrictions placed on insurance coverage by insurers.  You need to understand that insurance companies serve a self-interest in reducing the number to times you visit your dentist.  More than not, our ability to be oral health care providers is hindered by what your insurance dictates.  We recommend you try not to let what your insurance covers be your benchmark for your healthcare.  It could result in expanded dentistry in the long run.

Going on a regular basis will help to keep your oral health on track as well as detect any early signs of periodontal disease, oral cancer or cavities.  In our Sandy Springs office we recommend the best way to maintain good oral health is to visit your dentist on a regular basis coupled with brushing your teeth, flossing and drinking fluoridated water
Seeing patients from all over metro Atlanta I sometimes like to joke, ‘the best toothbrush is the one you use’ and ‘brush the ones you want to keep’.  But in all seriousness, if you live in nearby Dunwoody, Roswell or East Cobb, please, if we can help feel free to call us.

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Do you have cancer?

Are you being treated?

Often patients in our Sandy Springs office, who are taking medications to treat cancer or receiving chemotherapy or radiation, end up suffering from dry mouth because these treatments may dry up your salivary glands.  Besides being uncomfortable, insufficient saliva increases your chances of having tooth sensitivity, decay and cavities.

It’s important to replenish the minerals in you mouth that you would otherwise have under normal circumstances.  See your dentist for an oral exam and evaluation.  There are solutions to counter dry mouth and restore mineral loss.

If we can be of assistance please feel free to contact us.

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
290 Carpenter drive, 200A
Atlanta, GA 30328

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cosmetic Dentists, what?

Dentist Sandy Springs:

The trend these days is dentists calling themselves cosmetic dentists when there is no such specialty in dentistry.   Contrary of this trend, all dentistry is cosmetic.   I don’t know anyone who took the ‘ugly’ teeth class in dental school.  Regardless, the fact remains that the majority of dentists are general dentists and marketing themselves as ‘cosmetic dentists’ is an ethics violation of the ADA[1].  Not one of them has a ‘cosmetic specialty’ in dentistry because it doesn’t exist.[2]   The ADA only has recognized nine (9) post dental degree specialties and cosmetic dentistry is not one of them.  These specialties range in one to six years of advance training beyond dental school that results in additional certifications considered experts within their fields of dentistry.  These ADA specialties are:
Dental Public Heath, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Surgery, Orthodontics, Endodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and the least known, but the closest to what would be considered a cosmetic dentist, Prosthodontics.
Prosthodontics: (crown, bridge, and implants) A Prosthodontist is the ‘holy grail’ of dentistry and has a specialty license pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes. Most dentists are not trained prosthodontic graduates of a dental school - rather they take short continuing education and utilize trial and error experience to be able to understand how size, shape, color and symmetry all work together to create what a prosthodontists is trained in their post graduate work.   On the other hand, the prosthodontist is trained at a university to create the smile that implements the use of veneers, crowns, bridges and the increasingly more common procedure of dental implants to ensure that the right smile is achieved, both functionally and aesthetically beautiful.  If anyone has a specialty in cosmetic dentistry, it would be the prosthodontist.  So when you are seriously looking for a cosmetic dentist, look for a prosthodontist.
If you are in need of a cosmetic dentist[3], we are here to serve you.
ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

Related articles
·    Prosthodontist (

[1] ADA is the American Dental Association
[2] And yet we advertise as a cosmetic dentist because we have a prosthodontist in our practice.
[3] Cosmetic dentist equals Prosthodontist.